is a poultry pathogen causing respiratory disease and synovitis. A number of serological assays have been developed for diagnosis of infection; however, they lack sensitivity and/or are prone to false-positive reactions. Using a combination of PCR and expression cloning, four overlapping regions (regions 1-4) of the surface antigen MSPB of WVU-1853 were expressed in a bacterial expression system.

Immunostaining of the resultant polypeptides with chicken sera raised against different strains, or S6, suggested that region 4 contained a highly antigenic and species-specific domain (amino acids 178-213) of MSPB. A fusion protein of region 4 was expressed in the pMAL expression system and purified from cold-osmotic-shock fluids of cells for use in an indirect ELISA. The potential of the purified antigen for detection of antibodies was assessed with sera obtained from chickens experimentally infected with different strains of or , or from uninoculated chickens. All the sera from -inoculated chickens provided higher absorbance values than those from -inoculated or uninoculated chickens. Chickens inoculated with 86079/7NS had detectable increases of serum anti-MSPB immunoglobulins at day 7 after inoculation. These studies have identified the most antigenic region of one of the major species-specific surface proteins of , and shown the potential of this protein as a serodiagnostic reagent.


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