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J Virol. 1992 Apr;66(4):2111-7.

Effects of hydrostatic pressure on a membrane-enveloped virus: high immunogenicity of the pressure-inactivated virus.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.


A new approach to the preparation of antiviral vaccines relying on the inactivation of the virus particle by hydrostatic pressure is described. The enveloped virus vesicular stomatitis virus was utilized as a model; a pressure of 260 MPa applied for 12 h reduced infectivity by a factor of 10(4), and the antibodies against pressurized material were as effective as those against the intact virus when measured by their neutralization titer. Fluorescence measurements indicate that application of pressure results in perturbations of the particle interactions that permit binding of specific molecular probes. Electron microscopy showed that the membrane of the pressurized virus was partially preserved, presenting the spike pattern of the membrane G protein. Unlike the icosahedral viruses, dissociation into smaller particles was not observed, but a constant change in the morphology was the presence of a bulge in the surface of the pressurized virus, indicating a displacement of the capsid subunits, retained under the lipid and protein membrane.

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