Glycoprotein E (gE) of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) forms a complex with glycoprotein I (gI) and plays an important role in cell-to-cell spread mechanisms of the virus, but is not essential for propagation of the virus. To study the antigenic variability of BHV1 glycoprotein E, a set of six well characterised monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) was established using BHV1 gE and gI deletion mutants, eukaryotically expressed gE and gI and pepscan analysis. Two of these MAbs reacted with a linear gE epitope (MAbs 3 and 52), two reacted with a more conformation dependent gE epitope (MAbs 61 and 81) and two reacted with epitopes formed by a complex formed between gE and glycoprotein I (MAbs 67 and 75). With these six MAbs the gE expression of 222 BHV1 isolates and 11 BHV1 modified-live vaccine strains was studied in vitro, using an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay. All 222 BHV1 isolates and 11 vaccine strains were found to react with MAbs 61, 81 and 75. Three of the 222 isolates failed to react with MAb 67 and two of the vaccines reacted very weakly with MAbs 3 and 52. Analysis of the gE genes of these five aberrant isolates and the gE glycoproteins they expressed, did not show obvious size differences compared to wild-type BHV1. We conclude that the tested gE epitopes are highly conserved, including the epitopes formed by the gI/gE complex.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2000
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