A collection of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) produced against the LWVRT 60.1, Jasper and N1 strains of infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) were selected for the analysis of VP2 epitopes. Previous characterization of the LW and JA MAbs allowed the identification of continuous and discontinuous epitopes but the topological localization of these sites remained obscure. The ability of these MAbs to differentiate individual epitopes was evaluated by additivity and competition assays using antigen-coated plates and by surface plasmon resonance (SPR), an automated biosensor system that is able to retain the conformation integrity of proteins. IPNV-neutralizing MAbs defined a major, conformational-dependent and immunodominant area where continuous epitopes represent portions of a larger discontinuous epitope. Moreover, weakly neutralizing MAbs could interact with internal sites, located within the foldings of the polypeptide chain. Anti-VP2 MAbs prepared against the European serotype N1 recognized and competed for epitopes present on the North American strains LWVRT 60.1 and Jasper. Attempts to establish the proximity of VP2 and VP3 epitopes have been made by SPR. Results indicate that these major structural proteins do not overlap in the virion.


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