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Vet Res. 2012 Aug 30;43:64. doi: 10.1186/1297-9716-43-64.

Interplay of foot-and-mouth disease virus, antibodies and plasmacytoid dendritic cells: virus opsonization under non-neutralizing conditions results in enhanced interferon-alpha responses.

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  • 1Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis, Sensemattstrasse 293, 3147, Mittelhäusern, Switzerland.


Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a highly infectious member of the Picornaviridae inducing an acute disease of cloven-hoofed species. Vaccine-induced immune protection correlates with the presence of high levels of neutralizing antibodies but also opsonising antibodies have been proposed as an important mechanism of the immune response contributing to virus clearance by macrophages and leading to the production of type-I interferon (IFN) by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). The present study demonstrates that the opsonising antibody titres mediating enhanced IFN-α responses in pDC were similar to neutralizing titres, when antigenically related viruses from the same serotype were employed. However, sera cross-reacted also with non-neutralized isolates of multiple serotypes, when tested in this assay. Both uncomplexed virus and immune complexed virus stimulated pDC via Toll-like receptor 7. An additional finding of potential importance for strain-specific differences in virulence and/or immunogenicity was that pDC activation by FMDV strongly differed between viral isolates. Altogether, our results indicate that opsonising antibodies can have a broader reactivity than neutralizing antibodies and may contribute to antiviral responses induced against antigenically distant viruses.

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