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J Virol Methods. 2008 Oct;153(1):29-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2008.06.017. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

DIVA diagnostic of Aujeszky's disease using an insect-derived virus glycoprotein E.

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Alternative Gene Expression S.L (ALGENEX) Centro de Empresas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Campus de Montegancedo, 28660 Madrid, Spain.


Commercial vaccines against Aujeszky's disease are mainly formulated using deleted versions of attenuated or inactivated Pseudorabies virus (PRV) particles lacking of the structural glycoprotein E (gE). Complementary diagnostic assays used to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (DIVAs), are based on the detection of serum antibodies against gE. A recombinant version of the PRV gE protein was expressed in a baculovirus vector system in Trichoplusia ni insect larvae in order to obtain this diagnostic reagent for large scale diagnosis at reduced costs. A recombinant gE gene (gEr), lacking of signal peptide and transmembrane domains, was cloned into a modified baculovirus vector to allow glycosylation of the protein and its subsequent exportation to the extracellular space. Analysis by SDS-PAGE, Western-blotting and glycoprotein staining revealed that a glycosylated protein of the expected electrophoretic mobility was obtained in infected larvae. Time course experiments revealed that maximum expression levels were reached 72h post-infection using 10(4)pfu of the recombinant baculovirus (BACgEr) per inoculated larva. An indirect PRV gE-ELISA was developed using gEr as a coating antigen. A comparison between larvae-derived PRV gE-ELISA and two commercially available PRV diagnostic kits showed good correlation between assays and better sensitivity when testing certain sera pig samples using the gEr ELISA. More than 30,000 ELISA determinations could be performed from crude extracts obtained from a single larva infected with the recombinant baculovirus, indicating the feasibility of this strategy for inexpensive production of glycosylated antigens for PRV diagnosis.

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