Microbiology and immunology

Detection of measles, mumps and rubella viruses by immuno-colorimetric assay and its application in focus reduction neutralization tests.

PMID 25244651


Measles, mumps and rubella are vaccine-preventable diseases; however limited epidemiological data are available from low-income or developing countries. Thus, it is important to investigate the transmission of these viruses in different geographical regions. In this context, a cell culture-based rapid and reliable immuno-colorimetric assay (ICA) was established and its utility studied. Twenty-three measles, six mumps and six rubella virus isolates and three vaccine strains were studied. Detection by ICA was compared with plaque and RT-PCR assays. In addition, ICA was used to detect viruses in throat swabs (n = 24) collected from patients with suspected measles or mumps. Similarly, ICA was used in a focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT) and the results compared with those obtained by a commercial IgG enzyme immuno assay. Measles and mumps virus were detected 2 days post-infection in Vero or Vero-human signaling lymphocytic activation molecule cells, whereas rubella virus was detected 3 days post-infection in Vero cells. The blue stained viral foci were visible by the naked eye or through a magnifying glass. In conclusion, ICA was successfully used on 35 virus isolates, three vaccine strains and clinical specimens collected from suspected cases of measles and mumps. Furthermore, an application of ICA in a neutralization test (i.e., FRNT) was documented; this may be useful for sero-epidemiological, cross-neutralization and pre/post-vaccine studies.