0 Items
Select Page

Lassa Fever Virus

Lassa fever is a zoonotic disease, caused by the Lassa fever virus. The animal reservoir of Lassa virus is a rodent commonly known as the ‘multimammate rat’. Mastomys rats infected with Lassa virus do not become ill, but can shed the virus in their urine and faeces. About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. However, 1 in 5 infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects multiple organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.

The Native Antigen Company offer recombinant Lassa Fever virus antigens in support of vaccine research and development, and as targets for serological immunoassays.

Lassa Fever Virus Background

Lassa fever is a severe and sometimes fatal haemorrhagic disease caused by the Lassa fever virus (LAFV). First identified in 1969 in Nigeria, Lassa Fever virus is a single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus that belongs to the genus Mammarenavirus, of the Arenaviridae family of viruses. The natural reservoir for Lassa fever virus is the Mastomys natalensis rat and transmission of LAFV to humans most commonly occurs through contaminated rat urine and faeces. The virus is also spread by person-to-person via contact with contaminated human excreta, blood and bodily secretions, which causes a significant risk to health workers (1). LAFV is now endemic in West Africa and a substantial outbreak of Lassa fever in 2016 resulted in 160 deaths.

Most individuals infected with LAFV remain asymptomatic, but severe disease may occur in 15% of cases, with 1% of these resulting in death. Symptoms of LAFV infection are variable and non-specific, making early diagnosis difficult. The symptoms associated with Lassa fever range from mild fever, with headaches and fatigue, to severe life-threatening multiple organ failure. Early stages of the disease resemble symptoms of typhoid and malaria, making misdiagnosis is a risk (2).

Currently, no licensed vaccine is available for the prevention of Lassa fever. Early treatment is possible using the drug Ribavirin, but the similarity of Lassa Fever to other diseases may cause delay in the accurate diagnosis of LAFV infection. Diagnosis of LAFV can be performed using molecular techniques, but requires access to high containment facilities. Therefore, LAFV infection is commonly diagnosed using serological methods to detect virus-specific IgG or IgM in a patient’s serum. However, serological methods lack both sensitivity and specificity due to cross-reactivity with similar viruses, meaning that improved methods of diagnosis are urgently needed (3).

In 2015, a workshop organised by the WHO identified Lassa fever as an emerging disease requiring accelerated R&D to underpin in vitro diagnostic development, vaccine design and therapeutics. The Native Antigen Company supports the research areas highlighted in the WHO 2015 workshop report on emerging diseases, by supplying high quality products, suitable for LAFV research and in vitro diagnostic assay development.

References

  1. Viral hemorrhagic fever consortium
  2. World Health organization – media centre Lassa fever
  3. Racsa, L.D. et al (2016). Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Diagnostics. Clin Infect Dis. 62: 214–219.

Lassa Fever Antigens

Our recombinant Lassa Fever virus proteins are produced using mammalian and E. coli expression systems and are suitable for use in assay development, vaccine research and as antigens for the preparation of antibodies. These proteins are presented as either His-tagged or Fc-fusion proteins, with an option of either human, sheep or mouse Fc regions to maximise flexibility.

Lassa Fever Antibodies

The Native Antigen Company provides three mouse monoclonal antibodies specific to Lassa Fever virus GP1 and GP2 which are ideal for use in a wide range of research studies and immunoassay development.

Questions?

Check out our FAQ section for answers to the most frequently asked questions about our website and company.

A Q&A with David Flavell of Leukaemia Busters

In this blog, we speak with Dr. David Flavell about his scientific career, the legacy of Leukaemia Busters, and the recent impact that COVID-19 has had on his research.Tell me about your scientific background David. I was born in a seaside town called Southport in...

Avoiding the Immunopathology Pitfalls of a COVID-19 Vaccine

In the second of a three-part series on COVID-19 vaccines, we explore the potential challenges in stimulating safe vaccine responses and outline the role that diagnostics will play in guiding their development.Rogue Responses Antibodies play a crucial role in...

The Bumpy Road to a Cytomegalovirus Vaccine

The development of a cytomegalovirus vaccine has been 50 years in the making. Are there any technologies in the pipeline that could prompt a breakthrough? This article was originally posted online at The Medicine Maker, a Texere publication.To say that...

Why We Need Antigen and Antibody Tests for COVID-19

RT-PCR is the workhorse of viral diagnosis and has been invaluable in COVID-19 case confirmation and isolation guidance. However, while fast and sensitive, PCR suffers from some inherent drawbacks that limit it to diagnosis during the acute phase of infection. To...

Gonorrhea: What’s Currently in the Clinical Pipeline?

This article was written by our friends at Infectious Diseases Hub, a free-to-access website that aims to deliver up-to-date, essential research and information on all aspects of microbiology, virology, mycology and parasitology – from bench to bedside....

Get in Touch

We sometimes send exclusive information and offers to our customers - please let us know if you are happy to receive these

15 + 4 =

Live Customer Feedback

Join our mailing list

* indicates required