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Published Research

Antigenic catergorization of contemporary H3N2 Swine Influenza Virus isolates using a high-throughput serum neutralization assay

Ben M. Hause,1 Tracy A. Oleson, Russell F. Bey,
Douglas L. Stine, Randy R. Simonson

Abstract
In vivo, neutralizing antibodies are critical for viral clearance. A high-throughput serum neutralization (HTSN) assay was developed to antigenically categorize Swine influenza virus (SIV) isolates. Uncategorized viruses were tested using a panel of antisera representing the H3N2 SIV subtypes and the results expressed as a serum neutralization ratio. Antisera were generated against contemporary isolates representing circulating H3N2 SIV subtypes (clusters I, III, IV). Reference viruses and the corresponding antisera were evaluated using traditional hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and the HTSN assays and good correlation (r 5 0.84) was observed between the 2 tests. Categorical clustering of 40 recent (2008–2009) SIV isolates was assessed using the HTSN assay. The H3N2 SIV isolates with amino acid similarity. 97% to the commonly used H3N2 cluster IV reference strain A/Swine/Ontario/33853/2005 (ON05) showed strong reactivity with cluster IV antisera. Isolates with, 97% amino acid similarity to ON05 sporadically or completely failed to react with any antiserum. A cluster of 3 isolates with weak reaction with cluster III antiserum may be a potential emerging cluster of H3N2 with moderate genetic similarity to cluster II H3N2 (93% similarity). Potential uses of the HTSN assay include identification of broadly cross-reactive or antigenically distinct SIV isolates for use in vaccine virus selection or as part of surveillance efforts monitoring antigenic drift.