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J Biotechnol. 1996 Jan 26;44(1-3):83-9.

Strategy for producing new foot-and-mouth disease vaccines that display complex epitopes.

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  • 1Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Greenport, NY 11944, USA.


Widely used inactivated vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) induce protective immunity, but vaccine production plants and residual virus in the vaccine itself have been implicated in disease outbreaks. The structure of the FMD virion has been determined, and although much of the surface of the viral particle is produced by complex folding of the three surface-exposed capsid proteins (VP1-3), some surface regions representing important linear epitopes can be mimicked by recombinant proteins or synthetic peptides. Vaccine candidates based on these products stimulate immune responses to foot-and-mouth virus (FMDV), but do not always protect livestock from disease. The basis of protective immunity to FMDV has been explored using genetic engineering to produce antigenic chimeras of the virus. Studies with these chimeras have shown that a strong and protective immune response can be generated in livestock to epitopes outside the sequential epitopes incorporated into previous subunit vaccine candidates. Genetic engineering of the virus has also been used to demonstrate that changes within the sequence encoding an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) sequence in VP1 abrogate virus binding to cells in culture, confirming the role of RGD as the receptor binding site. Based on this information, genetically stable viruses which cannot bind to cells have been created by deleting the nucleotides coding the RGD sequence. The receptor binding site-deleted viruses have been shown to be non-infectious in tissue culture, mice, and swine. Cattle vaccinated with these viruses are protected from disease when challenged with virulent FMDV, demonstrating that they could serve as the basis for safer FMD vaccines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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