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J Immunol. 1985 Oct;135(4):2805-9.

Protection against 17D yellow fever encephalitis in mice by passive transfer of monoclonal antibodies to the nonstructural glycoprotein gp48 and by active immunization with gp48.


The protective capacity of antiviral antibodies has generally been considered to depend on their interactions with structural components of the virion. Here we report protection against lethal 17D yellow fever virus (YF) encephalitis of mice by passive administration of nonneutralizing monoclonal antibodies to a 17D YF-specified nonstructural glycoprotein, gp48, and by active immunization with purified gp48. Among five anti-gp48 monoclonal antibodies tested, two with high titer complement-fixing (CF) activity were protective, whereas three antibodies with little or no CF activity were not. The ability of antibodies to protect correlated with their ability to promote complement-mediated cytolysis (CMC) of 51Cr-labeled 17D YF-infected mouse neuroblastoma (Neuro 2a) cells. Purified gp48, prepared from lysates of 17D YF-infected Vero cells by immunoaffinity chromatography, was shown to bear both YF type-specific and flavivirus group-reactive determinants in a solid phase radioimmunoassay. Immunization of mice with purified gp48 resulted in solid protection in the absence of detectable anti-virion antibody, measured by neutralization and radioimmunoprecipitation assays. The results are consistent with plasma membrane expression of gp48 and susceptibility of 17D YF-infected neural cells to CMC, a possible mechanism of host defense in 17D YF encephalitis. Protection provided by immunization with gp48, which bears a group-reactive determinant and is highly conserved among flaviviruses, may have implications in regard to flavivirus vaccine design.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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