Humoral immune response of experimentally infected sheep defines two early periods of bovine leukemia virus replication

Kathryn Radke, Deborah Grossman, Lynn C. Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We have correlated the virus-specific humoral immune response of sheep newly infected with bovine leukemia virus (BLV) with the appearance in their blood of cells that transcribe BLV RNA or produce virus in culture. Neutralizing antibodies and antibodies binding to the viral capsid protein were present in most animals early after infection, often before BLV-expressing cells were first detected in blood. Neutralizing antibodies increased rapidly during the period when the number of cells that expressed BLV was also increasing. However, the titers developed by individual animals were independent of the maximum number of BLV-expressing cells. Antibodies that bound to the viral surface glycoprotein on immunoblots became evident at the same time as large peaks in the numbers of BLV-expressing cells. Despite ensuing sharp drops in BLV-expressing cells, neutralizing titers remained relatively constant through the rest of the first 8 months after infection. Two early phases of BLV replication were thus defined: initial, low-level replication that induced neutralizing and capsid-specific antibodies followed by a second period of intense replication that induced sharp increases in antiviral antibodies and preceded the release of many infected cells into the blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990


  • bovine leukemia virus
  • capsid antibodies
  • neutralizing antibodies
  • surface glycoprotein antibodies
  • virus replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Humoral immune response of experimentally infected sheep defines two early periods of bovine leukemia virus replication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this