Effective chemical virus inactivation of patient serum compatible with accurate serodiagnosis of infections.

Remy, Mélissa; Alfter, Michele; Chiem, M-N; Barbani, Maria Teresa; Engler, O B; Suter, Franziska Marta (2019). Effective chemical virus inactivation of patient serum compatible with accurate serodiagnosis of infections. Clinical microbiology and infection, 25(7), 907.e7-907.e12. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cmi.2018.10.016

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OBJECTIVES Highly pathogenic viruses such as EBOV are a threat to routine laboratory workers. Inactivation procedures with Triton X-100 0.1% and/or heat are currently recommended, but have unknown effects on the accuracy of serological testing. Furthermore, virus inactivation by Triton X-100 0.1% was shown to be ineffective in serum. This study aimed to demonstrate virus inactivation in serum by Triton X-100 1% and maintained accuracy of serological testing. METHODS A panel of 19 serological tests was run on patient serum samples after treatment with Triton X-100 1%, 0.1%, and 0.1% + heat inactivation at 60°C for 1 h. Mean differences between measurements (bias) were calculated applying the Bland-Altman method. To determine effectiveness of virus inactivation, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) was spiked into medium containing 90% or 1% serum, and treated with Triton X-100 0.1% or 1%. Infectious titres were then determined on Vero cells. RESULTS Serological measurements showed good agreement between controls and samples treated with Triton X-100 0.1% and 1%, with an estimated bias of 0.6 ± 9.2% (n = 258) and -0.1 ± 18.6% (n = 174), respectively. Discordant qualitative results were rare. Conversely, heat inactivation alone and combined with Triton X-100 0.1% triggered a bias of 17.5 ± 66.4% (n = 200) and 37.9 ± 79.8% (n = 160), respectively. Triton X-100 1% completely inactivated HSV-1 in 1% and 90% serum while Triton X-100 0.1% failed to do so in 90% serum. CONCLUSIONS Unlike heat inactivation, Triton X-100 1% enabled accurate serological testing and completely inactivated HSV-1 in serum. This simple method could allow safe routine serological diagnostics in high-risk patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases > Infection Serology

UniBE Contributor:

Remy, Mélissa; Alfter, Michele; Barbani, Maria Teresa and Suter, Franziska Marta








Siegfried Hektor Hapfelmeier-Balmer

Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2019 11:21

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 10:28

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Biosafety Diagnosis of infections Serological tests Triton X-100 Virus inactivation





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