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Vaccine. 2007 Feb 19;25(9):1690-9. Epub 2006 Oct 11.

Cross-reactive immune responses in mice after genetic vaccination with cDNA encoding hantavirus nucleocapsid proteins.

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Department of Medical Countermeasures, Division of NBC Defence, Swedish Defence Research Agency, SE-901 82 Umeå, Sweden.


Hantaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in about 150,000 individuals in Eurasia, and several hundred cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) on the American continent annually. There is consequently a need for rapid diagnostics and effective prevention of hantaviral infections. In this study we have performed DNA-vaccination of mice with full-length genes encoding the immunogenic nucleocapsid protein (NP) of Puumala (PUUV), Seoul (SEOV) and Sin Nombre virus (SNV). The antibody reactivity towards the NPs, and deleted or truncated variants thereof, were studied to localise and investigate the major polyclonal B-cell epitopes. Our findings clearly show that the antibody reactivity in each immunised mouse is unique, not only in a quantitative respect (titers) but also in cross-reactivity and most likely also in the epitope specificity. Our experimental data in combination with B-cell prediction software indicate that strong homologous virus species specific and cross-reactive epitopes are located around amino acid residue 40 in the nucleocapsid proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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