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Maine Biotechnology Services-USDA-ARS Partnership Provides Monoclonal Antibodies to Aid in the Containment of Rift Valley Fever Virus

Portland, Maine (PRWEB) November 12, 2013

In July 2012, Maine Biotechnology Services entered into a partnership with Dr. Scott McVey, supervisor of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, with the objective of developing monoclonal antibodies to support ongoing research efforts to advance adequate vaccine and rapid detection methods for Rift Valley Fever Virus in Africa. MBS is announcing the release of the first two antibodies resulting from that partnership; a functioning matched pair demonstrating specificity to the nucleocapsid protein of the virus. The antibodies have applications as detection reagents for circulating antigen, mosquito carriers, or as components of differentiation of infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA) assays. In the final phase of validation for the antibodies, Dr. McVey intends to deliver them to USDA-ARS partnered laboratories in South Africa and other endemic African nations for assay development with clinical samples. Future goals of the MBS-USDA-ARS Rift Valley Fever program include the development of antibodies to the Gn and NSs proteins to support vaccine programs.

About Rift Valley Fever Virus: Rift Valley Fever is a devastating virus transmitted by mosquitoes that affects both animals and humans. The disease results in significant economic losses due to death and abortion in RVFV infected livestock. Originating in the Rift Valley of Kenya, outbreaks of the virus now occur in all areas of sub-Saharan and North Africa. Cases have also been confirmed in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, causing widespread concern about the vulnerability of parts of Asia and Europe involved in livestock trade with Africa.

About Maine Biotechnology Services: Maine Biotechnology Services is a premier provider of antibody services, from design and development to production and characterization. MBS extends the creativity and experience necessary for the most complex hybridoma development projects. A wide variety of tools are utilized by MBS to allow customers the opportunity to refine clone selection early in a project, and to support prototype assay validation. Collaboration opportunities combine 25 years of custom hybridoma development experience at MBS with academic expertise on a target of shared interest.

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