The gene encoding the envelope glycoprotein of a recent Danish isolate of a salmonid rhabdovirus, viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) has been cloned and sequenced at the cDNA level. When compared with the deduced sequence of a French isolate of VHSV, it was noted that there were 13 amino acid substitutions in the Danish virus. Amino acid homologies with the glycoprotein of a North American salmonid rhabdovirus (infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus) indicate a high degree of structural similarity between the two fish rhabdovirus glycoproteins. Results from partial enzymatic deglycosylation of the viral protein indicate that all four NXT/S sites found in the sequence are -glycosylated in the virus. The glycoprotein, without the N-terminal leader sequence and C-terminal hydrophobic anchor segment, was expressed in as a factor X protease-cleavable fusion protein. The purified and renatured viral part of the recombinant protein was able to elicit VHSV-specific antibodies and neutralizing antibody activity in serum when injected into rainbow trout.


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