The electrophoretic mobilities of the two genome segments and the structural polypeptides of the chicken strain Cu-1 (serotype I) and the turkey isolate 23/82 (serotype II) of infectious bursal disease virus were compared. There is a close antigenic relationship between the smaller of the two major structural proteins (32K) of both strains. Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies are induced by the larger protein (40K in Cu-1) which differentiates between the two serotypes. The 40K structural protein also has epitopes which do not induce neutralizing antibodies and which are common to both strains. There is evidence that the antigenic region responsible for the production of neutralizing antibodies is highly conformation-dependent. Passively administered neutralizing antibodies directed against the 40K structural polypeptide of Cu-1 confer protective immunity to susceptible chickens, whereas antibodies directed against the 32K structural protein do not have any protective effect.


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