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Immunology. 1991 Jan;72(1):99-103.

High-affinity antibody induced by immunization with a synthetic peptide is associated with protection of cattle against foot-and-mouth disease.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U.K.


Previous work has shown that the synthetic peptide C-C-(200-213)-P-P-S-(141-158)-P-C-G, in which residues 200-213 and 141-158 correspond to immunogenic regions of the VP1 protein of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), is capable of inducing high levels of neutralizing antibody but only inconsistent protection of cattle against virulent FMDV challenge. The possibility exists that differences in affinity may well underlie the observed variations in biological effectiveness of the anti-peptide antibodies in immunized animals. This has been investigated by assessing the affinity for peptide and whole virus of the anti-peptide antibodies in sera from protected and non-protected cattle using both fluid-phase and solid-phase assays. The results obtained show that the affinities of serum antibodies for peptide and virus in protected cattle were significantly higher than those in non-protected animals. Thus in order to assess vaccine efficacy, particularly in the case where synthetic immunogens are employed, consideration should be given to the determination of antibody affinity in addition to other parameters of the antibody response.

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