A panel of seven human monoclonal Fabs against Puumala virus (PUU) nucleocapsid protein (N) was obtained by panning an antibody phage-display library prepared from the spleen of a PUU-immune individual. Three antibodies reacted in immunoblotting and cross-reacted strongly with Tula and Sin Nombre virus recombinant N proteins. These antibodies mapped to the amino terminus of the N protein. One PUU glycoprotein 2 (G2)-specific Fab obtained against a novel epitope (G2c) cross-reacted with Khabarovsk virus but not with the other hantavirus serotypes. An N protein-specific Fab was successfully used as capture antibody to detect PUU-specific serum IgG and IgM antibodies in an enzyme immunoassay. The result demonstrates the usefulness of recombinant human Fabs as potential diagnostic tools.


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