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Vaccine. 2013 Apr 19;31(17):2130-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.02.051. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Identification of conserved neutralizing linear epitopes within the VP1 protein of coxsackievirus A16.

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Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology & Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 411 Hefei Road, Shanghai 200025, China.


Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) is a major causative agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Immunization with inactivated whole-virus or recombinant virus-like particles (VLP) of CA16 elicits neutralizing antibodies that protect mice against lethal challenge. However, the epitope/s responsible for this induction has not been determined. In this investigation, we identified six neutralizing linear epitopes of CA16. A panel of 95 synthetic peptides spanning the entire VP1 protein of CA16 were screened by ELISA for reactivity with neutralizing antisera against CA16 VLPs, which were generated in a previous study (Vaccine 30:6642-6648). Fifteen high-binding peptides were selected and further examined for their inhibitory effect on neutralization by anti-VLP sera. Among them, six peptides with no overlap significantly inhibited neutralization. Mice immunized with these six peptides generated peptide-specific serum antibodies. The anti-peptide antisera positively detected CA16 via immunofluorescent staining and Western blot assays. More importantly, they neutralized both homologous and heterologous CA16 strains, indicating that these six peptides represented neutralizing epitopes. Sequence alignment also showed that these epitopes are extremely conserved among CA16 strains of different genotypes. These findings have important implications for the development of peptide-based broadly protective CA16 vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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