1. Zoonosis Research Center, Department of Infection Biology, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, 460, Iksan-daero, Iksan, 54538, Republic of Korea;
2. GenBody Inc, No.206, Biotech Business IC, DanKook University, San-29, Anseo-dong, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Republic of Korea;
3. Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, 460, Iksan-daero, Iksan, 54538, Republic of Korea.
* These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.
Currently, the point of care testing (POCT) is not fully developed for subtype-specific avian influenza virus detection. In this study, an H5N1 hemaglutinin 1 (HA1) epitope (P0: KPNDAINF) and three modified peptides (P1: KPNTAINF, P2: KPNGAINF, P3: KPNDAINDAINF) were evaluated as POCT elements for rapid detection of avian influenza virus. Based on modeling predictions by Autodock Vina, binding affinity varied depending on alteration of one amino acid in these peptides. The binding energy of P2 indicated its potential for a strong interaction with HA. Fluorescence-linked immunosorbent assay experimentally demonstrated the interaction between these peptides and virus. The four peptides interacted with HA1 of H5N3 with different binding affinities with P2 showing the strongest binding affinity. When P0 and P2 peptides were used in rapid fluorescent immunochromatographic test (FICT) as detection elements, the inter-assay coefficients of variation (CV) indicated that P2-linked FICT was more acceptable than the P0-linked FICT in the presence of human specimens. Antibody pair-linked FICT was influenced by clinical samples more than the P2-linked FICT assay, which showed a 4-fold improvement in the detection limit of H5N3 and maintained H5 subtype-specificity. Compared to the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) which is not specific for influenza subtypes, P2-linked FICT could increase virus detection. In conclusion, results of this study suggest that HA epitope-derived peptides can be used as alternatives to antibodies for a rapid fluorescent diagnostic assay to detect avian influenza virus.
Keywords: Epitope-derived peptide, H5 subtype influenza A virus, Rapid fluorescent immunochromatographic test, Haemagglutinin 1.