• Epitope;
  • influenza;
  • monoclonal antibody;
  • nucleoprotein

Please cite this paper as: Miyoshi-Akiyama et al. (2012) Discrimination of influenza A subtype by antibodies recognizing host-specific amino acids in the viral nucleoprotein. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(6), 434–441.

Background  Nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza viruses is utilized to differentiate between the A, B, and C viral serotypes. The availability of influenza genome sequence data has allowed us to identify specific amino acids at particular positions in viral proteins, including NP, known as “signature residues,” which can be used to discriminate human influenza A viruses from H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in human cases (HPAI) and pandemic H1N1(2009) (H1N1/2009) viruses.

Methods  Screening and epitope mapping of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against NP of influenza A, which reacted differently with NP from human influenza A virus from HPAI and H1N1/2009 A virus. To identify the epitope(s) responsible for the discrimination of viral NP by mAbs, we prepared mutant NP proteins in the 293 cell expression system because some of the mAbs reacted with non-linear epitopes.

Results and Conclusions  In the present study, we identified 3 mAbs. The results of epitope mapping showed that the epitopes were located at the signature residues. These results indicated that signature residues of NP could discriminate influenza A viruses from different origin.