Human caliciviruses (HuCVs) are antigenically diverse. The antigenic relationships among different HuCVs have been difficult to study because HuCVs cannot be passaged in the laboratory. In this study, we describe cloning, sequencing and expression of the viral capsid proteins of three HuCVs that were identified in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in Virginia in 1997–1998. Yields of the capsid proteins similar to previously expressed recombinant Norwalk virus were obtained using the baculovirus expression system. Recombinant VA97207 capsid protein (rVA97207) and rVA98387, but not rVA98115, formed virus-like particles (VLPs). All three recombinant capsid antigens detected seroresponses in patients involved in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis associated with genetically homologous or related HuCVs. The antigenic relationships of the three strains were further characterized using hyperimmune antisera against the three capsid antigens as well as four previously characterized recombinant capsid antigens of Norwalk (rNV), Mexico (rMxV), Hawaii (rHV), and Grimsby viruses (rGrV). VA98387 shared 98% aa identity with GrV; rVA98387 was detected by antisera to GrV. VA98115 shared 87% aa identity with Desert Storm virus and 65% aa identity with prototype Norwalk virus (NV); rVA98115 reacted weakly with NV antisera. VA97207 shared 80% aa identity with Amsterdam and 75% aa identity with Leeds strains and rVA97207 was not detected by any of the heterologous antibodies. In conclusion, VA97207 and VA98115 may belong to CV antigenic types not previously expressed, while VA98387 is a GrV-like virus. Low levels of cross-reactive antibodies were detected between types. Further studies to characterize these antigens and to develop enzyme immune assays (EIAs) for these strains are in progress.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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