Arch Virol (2003) 148: 1027–1036
Antigenic relationship between ﬁve isolates of murine
gammaherpesvirus analysed with monoclonal antibodies
, J. Mistrikova
, M. Mrmusova
, N. Zilka
, and E. Kontsekova
Department of Microbiology and Virology, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
Received July 22, 2002; accepted February 6, 2003
Published online April 9, 2003
Summary. A panel of six monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) speciﬁc for murine
gammaherpesvirus (MHV) was used for analysis of the antigenic relationship
between ﬁve MHV-isolates (MHV 68, MHV 72, MHV 76, MHV 78, MHV S).
Two mAbs raised against MHV 72 and four raised against MHV S were used in the
study. Antibody-virus interactions were tested using immunochemical (ELISA,
Western blot, immunoﬂuorescence) and biological (virus-neutralization) assays.
Immunoanalysis by ELISA showed a close antigenic relationship between the
ﬁve viruses, nevertheless, some antigenic individuality of the isolate MHV S was
observed. This isolate originated from a geographically distinct area in Czechia
relative to the other four isolates from Slovakia. In Western blot analysis, anti-
bodies to MHV 72 recognized viral antigens with the relative molecular mass
about 116 000. Of four mAbs against MHV S, only two reacted with denatured
viral antigen in Western blot and showed speciﬁcity for the 50–55 000 protein.
These ﬁndings suggested that both isolates, besides of minor antigenic variability,
could differ also in immunodominant proteins. Mabs to MHV S exhibited much
stronger virus-neutralizing potency than mAbs to MHV 72, indicating thus that
the 50–55 000 antigen might be more relevant for the infectivity of MHV-virus.
Immunoﬂuorescence with mAbs allowed speciﬁc localization of antigens in virus-
infected VERO cells.
Murine gammaherpesviruses (MHV) are natural parasites of murid rodents .
Infection of laboratory mice with MHV results in pathological characteristics
closely related to those caused by the human gammaherpesvirus Epstein-Barr
virus (EBV) in man [9, 10]. Consequently MHV has been used as a model virus
for the study of human lymphotropic gammaherpesviruses, EBV in particular.