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J Gen Virol. 2006 Jun;87(Pt 6):1465-75.

Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 glycoprotein H-glycoprotein L complex is a major target for neutralizing monoclonal antibodies.

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Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.


Herpesviruses characteristically persist in immune hosts as latent genomes, but to transmit infection they must reactivate and replicate lytically. The interaction between newly formed virions and pre-existing antibody is therefore likely to be a crucial determinant of viral fitness. Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) behaves as a natural pathogen of conventional, inbred mice and consequently allows such interactions to be analysed experimentally in a relatively realistic setting. Here, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were derived from MHV-68-infected mice and all those recognizing infected-cell surfaces were tested for their capacity to neutralize MHV-68 virions. All of the neutralizing mAbs identified were specific for the viral glycoprotein H (gH)-gL heterodimer and required both gH and gL to reproduce their cognate epitopes. Based on antibody interference, there appeared to be two major neutralization epitopes on gH-gL. Analysis of a representative mAb indicated that it blocked infection at a post-binding step--either virion endocytosis or membrane fusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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