In cross-immunization studies using foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) antigens and a synthetic peptide, from a region within virus coat protein VP1, it has been shown that intact virus will prime the immune system for intact virus, virus subunits and synthetic peptide but not for disrupted virus. In contrast, peptide will prime for a response to peptide and virus subunits but not to intact virus or disrupted virus. Furthermore, studies on antibody populations in anti-virus and anti-peptide antisera demonstrated clear differences in the nature of the antibody response to the two antigens. This result is reflected in protection studies carried out on animals immunized with virus particles or peptides where there is a clearer correlation between neutralization and protection following peptide immunization. Thus, it has been shown that there are major qualitative and quantitative differences in the immune response to the FMDV particle and synthetic peptide.


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