News & Publications

Zalgen is committed to collaborate with our VHFC colleagues and others to advance the knowledge base of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and other viral diseases. Read the latest on how our work is making a difference.

Latest News

Recent Publications

Heinrich ML, Boisen ML, Nelson DKS, Antibodies from Sierra Leonean and Nigerian Lassa fever survivors cross‑react with recombinant proteins representing Lassa viruses of divergent lineages. Scientific Reports 10:16030 (2020). As part of CEPI ’s (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) Lassa vaccine development program, we assessed the potential of the human immune system to mount cross-reactive and cross-protective humoral immune responses to antigens from the most prevalent LASV lineages (lineages II and III in Nigeria and lineage IV in Sierra Leone). IgG and IgM present in the blood of Lassa fever survivors from Nigeria or Sierra Leone exhibited substantial cross-reactivity for binding to LASV nucleoprotein and two engineered (linked and prefusion) versions of the glycoproteins (GP) of lineages II–IV. These studies provide guidance for comparison of humoral immunity to LASV of distinct lineages following natural infection or immunization.

Cross RW, Agans KN, Prasad AN, Intranasal exposure of African green monkeys to SARS-CoV-2 results in acute phase pneumonia with shedding and lung injury still present in the early convalescence phase. Virology Journal 17: 125 (2020) Follow up to recently reported development of the first African green monkey (AGM) model for COVID-19 based on a combined liquid intranasal (i.n.) and intratracheal (i.t.) exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Assessment of an i.n. particle only route of exposure using the LMA mucosal atomization device (MAD). Findings are consistent with human COVID-19 further demonstrating that the AGM faithfully reproduces the human condition. Study utilized Zalgen Labs ReSARS CoV-2 Nucleoprotein ELISA kits to measure specific IgG antibodies in AGM sera.

Barnes KG, Lachenauer AE, Nitido A, Deployable CRISPR-Cas13a diagnostic tools to detect and report Ebola and Lassa virus cases in real-time. Nature Communications 11: 4131 (2020). Development of a CRISPR-Cas13a-based (SHERLOCK) diagnostics targeting Ebola virus (EBOV) and Lassa virus (LASV), with both fluorescent and lateral flow readouts. Assessment on laboratory and clinical samples assay sensitivity and capacity to handle virus-specific diagnostic challenges, and safety testing to demonstrate the efficacy of the HUDSON protocol in heat-inactivating VHF viruses before SHERLOCK testing, eliminating the need for an extraction. Development of a user-friendly protocol and mobile application (HandLens) to report results, facilitating SHERLOCK’s use in endemic regions.

Boisen, M.L., Uyigue, E., Aiyepada, J. et al. Field evaluation of a Pan-Lassa rapid diagnostic test during the 2018 Nigerian Lassa fever outbreakSci Rep 10, 8724 (2020). Evaluation of the Zalgen ReLASV Pan-Lassa Antigen Rapid Test, a point-of-care, in vitro diagnostic test that utilizes a mixture of polyclonal antibodies raised against recombinant nucleoproteins of representative strains from the three most prevalent LASV lineages (II, III and IV). The performance of the Pan-Lassa RDT was compared to available quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays during the 2018 LF outbreak in Nigeria. For patients with acute LF (RDT positive, IgG/IgM negative) during initial screening, RDT performance was 83.3% sensitivity and 92.8% specificity when compared to composite results of two qPCR assays. 100% of samples that gave Ct values below 22 on both qPCR assays were positive on the Pan-Lassa RDT. There were significantly elevated case fatality rates and elevated liver transaminase levels in subjects whose samples were RDT positive compared to RDT negative.

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