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Infrared fluorescent immunofocus assay (IR-FIFA) for the quantitation of non-cytopathic and minimally cytopathic viruses.

Counihan NA, Daniel LM, Chojnacki J, Anderson DA

  • Journal Journal of virological methods

  • Published 18 Nov 2005

  • Volume 133

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 62-9

  • DOI 10.1016/j.jviromet.2005.10.023


A novel method was developed for the precise quantitation of viruses using infrared fluorescent detection of foci of infection in conventional cell culture plates. In this assay, termed the infrared fluorescent immunofocus assay (IR-FIFA), appropriate cell cultures were infected with serial dilutions of hepatitis A virus (HAV) or measles virus (MV) and maintained with a semi-solid overlay for 1-5 days. Cell monolayers were fixed with formaldehyde, and then stained in succession with a primary monoclonal antibody and an Alexa Fluor 680 conjugate. Foci of infection (analogous to plaques) were detected by scanning culture plates using the Odyssey infrared imaging system and counted to determine the virus titre, expressed as focus forming units (FFU) per mL, as is done for conventional plaque assays. HAV and MV were used as models of minimally cytopathic viruses, and showed a linear dose-response between focus formation and virus dilution. Viral titres calculated using this method were comparable to conventionally used methods. The IR-FIFA was also successfully adapted to quantify duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) as a model for a non-cytopathic virus. This simple and sensitive assay will have wide use for the quantitation of non-cytopathic and minimally cytopathic viruses.