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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 May;18(5):749-57. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00418-10. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Antibody recognition of porcine circovirus type 2 capsid protein epitopes after vaccination, infection, and disease.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Open reading frame 2 (ORF2) of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) codes for the 233-amino-acid capsid protein (CP). Baculovirus-based vaccines that express only ORF2 are protective against clinical disease following experimental challenge or natural infection. The goal of this study was to identify regions in CP preferentially recognized by sera from experimentally infected and vaccinated pigs and to compare these responses to those of pigs diagnosed with porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD), including porcine multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS). The approach was to react porcine sera with CP polypeptide fragments followed by finer mapping studies using overlapping oligopeptides that covered amino acids 141 to 200. The results showed that vaccinated pigs preferentially recognized only the largest polypeptide fragment, CP(43-233). A subset of experimentally infected pigs and pigs with PDNS showed strong reactivity against a CP oligopeptide, 169-STIDYFQPNNKR-180. Alanine scanning identified Y-173, F-174, Q-175, and K-179 as important for antibody recognition. The results from this study support the notion of PCV2 modulation of immunity, including antibody responses that may represent a precursor for disease. The recognition of CP(169-180) and other polypeptides provides opportunities to devise diagnostic tests for monitoring the immunological effectiveness of vaccination.

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