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J Vet Diagn Invest. 1995 Apr;7(2):210-8.

Identification and characterization of immunodominant antigens during the course of infection with Brucella ovis.

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Central Animal Health Laboratory, Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.


The seroresponse against Brucella ovis of 8 intrapreputially and 6 intravenously infected rams and 9 ewes infected through mating was analyzed by electrophoretic immunoblotting. Additionally, 87 sera from chronically infected rams that were shedding B. ovis in their semen, 226 sera from rams belonging to infected flocks, and 324 sera from false-positive complement fixation test (CFT) reactors were examined. In all infected animals, antibody reactivity was predominantly found against 5 B. ovis components of 8-12, 17, 19, 29, and 63 kD, of which the 29-kD antigen was most dominant in the seroresponse. Antibodies to the 29-kD component were present in 93-100% of the infected sheep in each infected group, whereas the frequency of antibodies to the 4 other components varied considerably among and within the different groups. No reactivity against the 29-kD antigen was found in the false-positive CFT reactors. By using monoclonal antibodies against known bacterial macromolecules, the immunodominant antigens were identified as rough lipopolysaccharide (8-12 kD), outer membrane proteins (17, 19, 29 kD), and a heat-shock protein (63 kD).

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