Aalto Bio Reagents Launches New Yellow Fever Virus Recombinant Protein for Diagnostic Testing
AACC, San Diego, USA – July 28th, 2017 – Aalto Bio Reagents today announced the availability of its first-to-market recombinant Yellow Fever virus (YFV) protein (code CA 6325) for diagnostic test manufacturers, vaccine developers and researchers globally. This His-tagged, recombinant protein is expressed in HEK293 cells and is derived from strain 17D. YFV, a potentially fatal mosquito-borne flavivirus, is prevalent in tropical and subtropical locations in South America and Africa. It is the next flavivirus threatening the population of Brazil with local health officials reporting a sharp rise in cases this year. In January 2017, a public state of emergency was declared in Minas Gerais over the outbreak which has already caused over 180 deaths in the area to date. The virus is currently endemic in 10 South and Central American countries with transmission continuing to expand towards the Atlantic coast. Recent outbreaks of YFV in Angola and the Republic of Congo have also been documented and a YFV vaccination certificate is now mandatory for all travellers to these countries that are ≥9 months of age.
YFV is transmitted to humans mainly by sylvatic mosquito vectors of the genera Haemagogus and Sabethes, but has also been known to be spread by the sinister Aedes aegypti mosquito which is responsible for the current Zika virus epidemic. In humans, the majority of YFV infections are asymptomatic; however approximately 15% of infected patients enter what is known as the toxic phase and this can lead to severe complications such as jaundice, multi-organ failure and even death. There is no specific treatment for YFV and, despite access to safe and effective YFV vaccines, the virus is still causing significant health problems in these countries.
Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by means of serological testing for the detection of antibodies during the postviremic phase of the disease (i.e. from the 5th day since the onset of symptoms). YFV is difficult to diagnose, especially in the early stages, as cross-reaction with other flavivirus infections is common. There are no validated IgM ELISA kits commercially available at present (WHO, February 2017) and in order for YFV infection to be confirmed by serologically techniques, a differential diagnosis with other flavivirus infections must be carried out.
Philip Noone, CEO of Aalto Bio Reagents, said “Brazil is currently experiencing its largest YFV outbreak in decades. There is an urgent need for a specific and sensitive serological YFV assay in countries such as Brazil, where co-circulation with other flaviviruses is high. Our industry has an unrelenting requirement for access to the most scientifically proven raw materials, a broader range of flexible controls and faster diagnostics. With our Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue Triplex and now our Yellow Fever solution we are truly building a comprehensive tropical product listing to meet this need. We envisage that our YFV protein will provide the critical element to further diagnostic companies’ research and development of IgG and potentially IgM assays. We will continue to focus on the expansion of our tropical disease products with even more additions in 2017-18 to enable our customers to bring superior, best-in-class diagnostic products to market faster, and aid in the development of life-saving vaccines.”