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International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23 December 2017

Wildriss Viranaicken, Alexia Ndebo, Sandra Bos, Philippe Souque, Gilles Gadea, Chaker El-Kalamouni, Pascale Krejbich-Trotot, Pierre Charneau, Philippe Desprès, Marjolaine Roche
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that recently emerged in the South Pacific, Americas, and Caribbean islands, where the larger epidemics were documented. ZIKV infection in humans is responsible for neurological disorders and microcephaly. Flavivirus NS1 is a non-structural glycoprotein that is expressed on the cell surface and secreted as a hexameric lipoprotein particle. Intracellular NS1 exists as a dimer that is required for viral replication, whereas the secreted NS1 hexamer interacts with host factors, leading to pathophysiological conditions. In an effort to dispose of specific anti-ZIKV NS1 immune serum, Vero cells were transduced with a lentiviral vector containing the NS1 gene from an epidemic strain of ZIKV. We showed that stably transduced Vero/ZIKV NS1 cell clone was efficient in the secretion of recombinant NS1 oligomer. Immunization of adult rat with purified extracellular NS1 developed anti-ZIKV antibodies that specifically react with the NS1 dimer produced in human cells infected with African and Asian strains of ZIKV. The rat antibody against ZIKV NS1 dimer is a reliable biological tool that enables the immunological detection of secreted NS1 from host-cells infected with ZIKV.