In this work, we demonstrate in-situ virus identification based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). We hypothe-sized that newly emerging influenza viruses possess surface proteins and lipids that can generate distinctive Raman signals. To test the hypothesis, SERS signals were measured from the surface of a non-influenza virus, two different influenza virus-es, and a genetically shuffled influenza virus. To ensure the safety for experimenters we constructed non-replicating pseudo-typed viruses that display main influenza virus surface components. Pseudotype with influenza virus components produced enhanced Raman peaks, on gold nanoparticles, that are easily distinguishable from those of pseudotype with a non-influenza virus component, vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSVG). Furthermore, virus with the surface components of a newly emerging influenza strain, A/California/04/2009 (H1N1), generated Raman peaks different from those of viruses with components of the conventional laboratory-adapted influenza strain, A/WSN/33 (H1N1). Interestingly, the virus simul-taneously displaying surface components of both influenza strains, a model mutant with genome reassortment, also pro-duced a Raman signal pattern that is clearly distinguishable from those of each strain. This work highlights that SERS can provide a powerful label-free strategy to quickly identify newly emerging and potentially fatal influenza viruses.
PMID: 26528878 DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02661