Determining whether animals have been infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus or vaccinated is important because infected animals frequently become carriers of the virus, shed it intermittently and thus may be the source of new outbreaks of the disease. We had shown previously that the sera of convalescent animals contain antibodies to 2C, a highly conserved non-structural protein, whereas the sera of vaccinated animals do not. This is explained by the observation that 2C is retained on the membranes of cells used for growing the virus for vaccine production. In contrast, the non-structural protein 3D, which is released into the medium, is not removed by centrifugation or filtration during vaccine production and therefore stimulates an immune response in both vaccinated and convalescent cattle. In this study we produced 2C and 3D in insect cells infected with recombinant baculoviruses. As demonstrated by serology and electron microscopy, 2C is also retained on the membranes of the insect cells. Both expressed proteins react with sera of convalescent animals, indicating that they are conformationally similar, but the 2C does not react with sera from vaccinated animals. The baculovirus expressed 2C appears to be a suitable antigen for the development of a reliable diagnostic test.
- Differentiation of vaccinated and convalescent animals
- Foot-and-mouth disease
- Proteins 2C
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