Twenty-one hybridoma cultures, obtained through the fusion of mouse myeloma cells with splenocytes of BALB/c mice immunized with either rabies virus or Mokola virus, secreted monoclonal antibodies specific for the nucleocapsid of the inducer virus. They displayed different specificities for the nucleocapsids of rabies and rabies-related viruses and could be classified into eight groups which are likely to correspond to different antigenic determinants on the nucleocapsid. Four strains of fixed rabies virus (CVS, ERA, Flury-LEP and Kelev) could not be differentiated by the nucleocapsid-specific hybridoma antibody. The Flury-HEP virus (derived from Flury-LEP) as well as the rabies-related viruses Mokola, Lagos bat and Duvenhage, showed marked differences in their reactivities with hybridoma antibodies to nucleocapsid. A selected panel of three of these hybridomas may be used for a rapid differential diagnosis among all members of the Lyssavirus group.


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