The gene encoding the muscovy duck parvovirus (DPV)-strain 89384 capsid proteins VP2 and VP3 was cloned in a baculovirus expression system and expressed in insect cells. The recombinant proteins were found to react with specific anti-DPV serum by Western blotting and to be located in the nucleus of insect cells (Sf9) as shown by immunofluorescence. Empty virus-like particles (VLPs) identical in size and appearance to DPV virions were observed by electron microscopy. The antigenicity and immunogenicity of the recombinant proteins were evaluated by ELISA and seroneutralization. Immunization of 3-week-old muscovy ducklings induced anti-DPV antibodies; neutralizing antibody titres were consistent with those observed in ducklings inoculated with a commercial inactivated vaccine. The way to develop these promising results is discussed.


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