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Ebola virus (EBOV) is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that can cause Ebola virus disease (EVD). It is thought that EVD survivors are protected against subsequent infection with EBOV and that neutralising antibodies to the viral surface glycoprotein (GP) are potential correlates of protection. Serological studies are vital to assess neutralising antibodies targeted to EBOV GP; however, handling of EBOV is limited to containment level 4 laboratories. Pseudotyped viruses can be used as alternatives to live viruses, which require high levels of bio-containment, in serological and viral entry assays. However, neutralisation capacity can differ among pseudotyped virus platforms. We evaluated the suitability of EBOV GP pseudotyped human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to measure the neutralising ability of plasma from EVD survivors, when compared to results from a live EBOV neutralisation assay. The sensitivity, specificity and correlation with live EBOV neutralisation were greater for the VSV-based pseudotyped virus system, which is particularly important when evaluating EBOV vaccine responses and immuno-therapeutics. Therefore, the EBOV GP pseudotyped VSV neutralisation assay reported here could be used to provide a better understanding of the putative correlates of protection against EBOV.

Original publication




Journal article


Scientific reports

Publication Date





Public Health England (PHE), Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


Humans, Vesiculovirus, HIV-1, Viral Envelope Proteins, Neutralization Tests, Ebolavirus, Viral Tropism, Antibodies, Neutralizing