, a naturally virulent rough Brucella species, is the aetiological agent of ram epididymitis. The identification of protective antigens is necessary to obtain a safe, specific subcellular vaccine. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed at both brucella outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) and rough lipopolysaccharide (R-LPS) in a mouse protection test were used to identify potential targets for humoral immunity. Mixtures of MAbs directed at the 16·5-, 25–27-, 31-34- and 36-38-kDa OMPs conferred significant protection 7 days after challenge with reference strain 63/290 compared with controls receiving either saline or an anti-brucella O-polysaccharide MAb. Furthermore, an anti-R-LPS MAb tested alone conferred protection at a level comparable with that obtained with the mixture of anti-OMP MAbs. The combination of protective OMP MAbs with the anti-R-LPS MAb was also strongly protective. One combination of OMP MAbs, which bound intensely to , was ineffective. These results indicate that OMPs and R-LPS are targets for protective antibodies and that they can be regarded as candidates for ram epididymitis subcellular vaccines.


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