Nonspecific Mouse Hepatitis Virus Positivity of Genetically Engineered Mice Determined by ELISA

  • Han, Dae Jong (Department of Research Laboratory, Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital) ;
  • Kim, Hyuncheol (Interdisciplinary Program of Integrated Biotechnology, Sogang University) ;
  • Yeom, Su-Cheong (Design Animal Resource Center, Pyeongchang Campus, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2014.09.24
  • Accepted : 2014.12.05
  • Published : 2015.03.31


Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) is a major pathogen in laboratory mice that usually leads to fatal diseases, such as hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, and respiratory disease. MHV has a high infection rate, and it needs to be detected as soon as possible to prevent its spread to other facilities. However, MHV detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) often gives false positives; thus, it is very important that the results are confirmed as true positives in the early infection stage or distinguished as false positives with more accurate, reliable methods. Under microbiological screening, MHV ELISA-positive mice were found in four GFP-tagging transgenic mice. To verify the detection of the MHV antigen directly, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed, and the mice were determined to be MHV negative. Additional serum antibody-based screening was conducted with three different ELISA kits, and multiplexed fluorometric immunoassay (MFIA) was performed to confirm their accuracy/sensitivity. In brief, the ELISA kit for A59 nucleocapsid protein (MHV-A59N) revealed MHV ELISA positivity, while other ELISA kits (MHV-S lysate and MHV-JHM lysate) demonstrated MHV negativity. In MFIA, only the test for the recombinant A59 nucleocapsid antigen was MHV positive, which was consistent with the ELISA results. These results suggest that the ELISA kit with the recombinant A59 nucleocapsid antigen might induce non-specific MHV ELISA positivity and that confirmation is therefore essential.



Supported by : Ministry of Food and Drug Safety


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