Harmonization of Zika neutralization assays by using the WHO International Standard for anti-Zika virus antibody
During outbreaks of emerging viruses, such as the Zika outbreak in 2015–2016, speed and accuracy in detection of infection are critical factors to control the spread of the disease; often serological and diagnostic methods for emerging viruses are not well developed and validated. Thus, vaccines and treatments are difficult to evaluate due to the lack of comparable methods. In this study, we show how the 1st WHO International Standard for anti-Zika antibody was able to harmonize the neutralization titres of a panel of serological Zika-positive samples from laboratories worldwide. Expression of the titres in International Unit per millilitre reduced the inter-laboratory variance, allowing for greater comparability between laboratories. We advocate the use of the International Standard for anti-Zika virus antibodies for the calibration of neutralization assays to create a common language, which will permit a clear evaluation of the results of different clinical trials and expedite the vaccine/treatment development.