This paper describes mapping of antigenic and host-protective epitopes of infectious bronchitis virus proteins by assessing the ability of defined peptide regions within the S1, S2 and N proteins to elicit humoral, cell-mediated and protective immune responses. Peptides corresponding to six regions in the S1 (Sp1–Sp6), one in the S2 (Sp7) and four in the N protein (Np1–Np4) were synthesized and coupled to either diphtheria toxoid (dt) or biotin (bt). Bt-peptides were used to assess if selected regions were antigenic and contained B- or T-cell epitopes and dt-peptides if regions induced an antibody response and protection against virulent challenge. All S1 and S2 peptides were antigenic, being recognised by IBV immune sera and also induced an antibody response following inoculation into chicks. Three S1-and one S2-bt peptides also induced a delayed type hypersensitivity response indicating the presence of T-cell epitopes. The S2 peptide Sp7 (amino acid position 566–584) previously identified as an immundominant region, was the most antigenic of all peptides used in this study. Two S1 (Sp4 and Sp6) and one S2 peptide (Sp7), protected kidney tissue against virulent challenge. From four N peptides located in the amino-terminal part of the N protein, only one, Np2 (amino acid position 72–86), was antigenic and also induced a delayed type hypersensitivity response. None of the N peptides induced protection against virulent challenge. The results suggest that the S1 glycoprotein carries additional antigenic regions to those previously identified and that two regions located in the S1 and one in the S2 at amino acid positions 294–316 (Sp4), 532–537 (Sp6) and 566–584 (Sp7) may have a role in protection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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