The fusion protein F of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is an important target for humoral and cellular immune responses, and antibodies against the F protein have been associated with protection. However, the F protein can induce antibodies with different biological activity, possibly related to distinct antigenic regions on the protein. Therefore, epitopes were mapped on the F protein using monoclonal antibodies. Two epitopes (A and B) were identified that induced neutralizing antibodies, and one epitope (C) that did not elicit neutralizing antibodies. Subsequently, antibody responses were analysed against these epitopes in cattle sera after natural infection, experimental infection or vaccination. After natural infection or reinfection, the antibody titres against epitope A were significantly higher than those against epitope B or C. After experimental infection and after vaccination with an inactivated vaccine, antibody titres against epitope B and C were significantly higher than after natural infection. Conversely, virus neutralizing antibody titres were significantly lower in these animals with higher antibody titres against epitopes B and C than in naturally infected cattle. Because after natural infection the epitope-specific-antibody titres against epitope A, B or C differed markedly between the cattle, the magnitude of the antibody titres against epitope A, B or C in relation to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes of cattle (BoLA) was studied. The magnitude of the antibody responses against epitope A of the F protein, but not against the G protein, appeared to be associated with the bovine lymphocyte antigen (BoLA) haplotype.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 1997
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