Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were used to delineate the antigenic relationship between the three morbillivirus types: measles virus (MV), canine distemper virus (CDV) and rinderpest virus (RPV). Panels of six to 31 MAbs against the haemagglutinin (H), fusion (F), nucleocapsid protein (NP), phosphoprotein (P) and matrix (M) proteins of MV and the H, F, NP and P proteins of CDV were employed. Nine strains of MV, three strains of CDV and four strains of RPV were examined by radioimmunoprecipitation assay and immune fluorescence for reactivity with the heterologous MAbs. Overall, the NP and in particular the F proteins of the morbilliviruses showed a high degree of epitopic homology; the P and M proteins showed a partial epitopic homology, with the greatest variation between the M proteins of CDV and MV; the H proteins showed a low degree of epitopic homology and then only between MV and RPV. These data indicate that the major cross-protecting antigen in heterotypic vaccination amongst morbilliviruses is the F antigen. The epitopic relationships found between morbilliviruses as identified by the MAbs were classified as follows. (i) Group-specific epitopes were present on all strains of the three morbillivirus types. (ii) Group-cross-reactive epitopes were present on only some of the strains from each morbillivirus type (these epitopes identified the presence of intratypic strain variation in all proteins of all three virus types). (iii) Type-specific epitopes, i.e. MV unique or CDV unique, were found only on the homologous morbillivirus type. (iv) CDV-RPV intertypic and MV-RPV intertypic epitopes were, respectively, epitopes shared by CDV and RPV but not with any MV strain, and epitopes shared by MV and RPV but not with any CDV strain. These cross-reactivities and type-specific reactions were obtained with the internal viral proteins (M, P and NP). The epitopes of the F proteins were mainly group-specific and no CDV-RPV or MV-RPV intertypic epitopes were found. The epitopes of the H protein were either type-specific or MV-RPV intertypic. These data support the proposed evolutionary relationship between the morbilliviruses.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error