Plasmids were prepared that contained cDNA segments of the large genomic segment A of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) strain GLS-5. The genes encoding the IBDV structural proteins (VP2, VP3 and VP4) were introduced into the baculovirus transfer vector pBlueBacI to obtain a recombinant baculovirus vIBD-7. When insect cells were infected with recombinant viruses, the result was synthesis of IBDV precursor proteins which were processed by the viral protease. The recombinant IBDV antigens were characterized by immunoprecipitation with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and polyclonal antiserum to IBDV, and by antigen-capture ELISA using a panel of IBDV-specific MAbs. The recombinant IBDV antigens closely resembled the native IBDV proteins and reacted with all the GLS-5 strain-specific neutralizing MAbs that recognize only conformational epitopes of IBDV. When susceptible chickens were inoculated with the recombinant IBDV antigens, virus-neutralizing antibodies were induced that conferred up to 79% protection against IBDV challenge.


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