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Immunology. 1991 Jul;73(3):249-54.

Immunological evaluation of the multiple antigen peptide (MAP) system using the major immunogenic site of foot-and-mouth disease virus.

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Department of Virology R & D, Wellcome Biotechnology Ltd, Beckenham, Kent, U.K.


The multiple antigenic peptide (MAP) system for presenting epitopes to the immune system has been studied with an immunogenic foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) peptide comprising amino acids 141-160 of protein VP1. Neutralizing antibody responses known to protect guinea-pigs against challenge infection were obtained with a single inoculation of 0.8-4 micrograms of peptide, presented as an octamer or a tetramer, whereas 20 micrograms of a dimer were required to evoke a similar level of antibody. A monomeric preparation did not elicit measurable levels of neutralizing antibody at doses up to 20 micrograms. The octameric MAP was also immunogenic using an aluminum hydroxide adjuvant. Antibodies elicited by the octameric, tetrameric and dimeric constructs differed qualitatively in their reaction with sequences within the 141-160 peptide. Those against the octamer reacted poorly with peptides within the 141-160 sequence, whereas those elicited by the tetramer and dimer reacted preferentially with the peptides covering the N-terminal region. The levels of neutralizing antibody obtained with the octamer and tetramer compare favourably with those obtained when the FMDV peptide is attached to carrier proteins but are lower than those obtained when it is presented as part of a peptide-hepatitis B virus core particle. Nevertheless, the ability to elicit protective levels of neutralizing antibody without the use of a carrier protein would be a distinct advantage in the development of synthetic peptide vaccines.

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