Optimization and Validation of a Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test for the Detection of Neutralizing Antibodies to Four Serotypes of Dengue Virus Used in Support of Dengue Vaccine Development.
A dengue plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) to measure dengue serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies for all four virus serotypes was developed, optimized, and validated in accordance with guidelines for validation of bioanalytical test methods using human serum samples from dengue-infected persons and persons receiving a dengue vaccine candidate. Production and characterization of dengue challenge viruses used in the assay was standardized. Once virus stocks were characterized, the dengue PRNT 50 for each of the four serotypes was optimized according to a factorial design of experiments approach for critical test parameters, including days of cell seeding before testing, percentage of overlay carboxymethylcellulose medium, and days of incubation post-infection to generate a robust assay. The PRNT50 was then validated and demonstrated to be suitable to detect and measure dengue serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies in human serum samples with acceptable intra-assay and inter-assay precision, accuracy/dilutability, specificity, and with a lower limit of quantitation of 10.