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Abstract

Five neutralizing antigenic sites have been described for serotype O foot-and-mouth disease viruses (FMDV) based on monoclonal antibody (mAb) escape mutant studies. However, a mutant virus selected to escape neutralization of mAb binding at all five sites was previously shown to confer complete cross-protection with the parental virus in guinea pig challenge studies, suggesting that amino acid residues outside the mAb binding sites contribute to antibody-mediated neutralization of FMDV. Comparison of the ability of bovine antisera to neutralize a panel of serotype O FMDV identified three novel putative sites at VP2-74, VP2-191 and VP3-85, where amino acid substitutions correlated with changes in sero-reactivity. The impact of these positions was tested using site-directed mutagenesis to effect substitutions at critical amino acid residues within an infectious copy of FMDV O1 Kaufbeuren (O1K). Recovered viruses containing additional mutations at VP2-74 and VP2-191 exhibited greater resistance to neutralization with both O1K guinea pig and O BFS bovine antisera than a virus that was engineered to include only mutations at the five known antigenic sites. The changes at VP2-74 and VP3-85 are adjacent to critical amino acids that define antigenic sites 2 and 4, respectively. However VP2-191 (17 Å away from VP2-72), located at the threefold axis and more distant from previously identified antigenic sites, exhibited the most profound effect. These findings extend our knowledge of the surface features of the FMDV capsid known to elicit neutralizing antibodies, and will improve our strategies for vaccine strain selection and rational vaccine design.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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2014-05-01
2021-10-20
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