DNA representing RNA segment 3 of bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 17, corresponding to the gene that codes for a group-specific antigen VP3, has been inserted into a baculovirus transfer vector in lieu of the 5′ coding region of the polyhedrin gene of nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV). After cotransfection of cells with wild-type AcNPV DNA in the presence of the derived recombinant transfer vector DNA, polyhedrin-negative recombinant baculoviruses were recovered. When cells were infected with one of these recombinant viruses, a protein that was similar in size and antigenic properties to the BTV VP3 protein was synthesized. Antibodies raised in mice or rabbits to the baculovirus-expressed VP3 protein immunoprecipitated the VP3 protein of BTV-17 as well as that of BTV-10. The expressed antigen reacted with antisera representing four U.S.A. BTV serotypes in an indirect ELISA test.

Keyword(s): antigen VP3 , baculovirus and BTV

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