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Avian Pathol. 1992;21(1):33-43.

Location of the amino acid differences in the S1 spike glycoprotein subunit of closely related serotypes of infectious bronchitis virus.

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Houghton Laboratory, AFRC Institute for Animal Health, Houghton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England.


Four UK strains of three different serotypes were found to differ by only 2-3% of their S1 amino acids. The S1 sequences were also very similar to those of three Dutch isolates (D207, D274 and D3896), the greatest difference between two of the seven isolates being 4.4%. The few amino acid differences between the seven isolates were located largely between residues 19-122 and 251-347 of the mature S1 subunit. The seven isolates could be differentiated using 16 monoclonal antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Some virus neutralizing (VN) antibody-inducing epitopes were common to all seven isolates even though the strains had been differentiated into three serotypes by polyclonal sera. The results indicate that the most antigenic of the VN antibody-inducing epitopes are formed by very few amino acids and that these occur in the first and third quarters of the S1 subunit. We suggest that serology-based epizootiological studies of IBV should, therefore, be augmented by the inclusion of nucleic acid sequencing and/or monoclonal antibody analysis.


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