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Virology. 1997 Mar 3;229(1):193-200.

A novel strategy for determining protective antigens of the parapoxvirus, orf virus.

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Virus Research Unit, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


We investigated the feasibility of using vaccinia virus (VAC) recombinants containing large multigene fragments of orf virus DNA to identify protective antigens of orf virus (OV). Sixteen OV strain NZ2 DNA fragments with an average size of 11.4 kb were recombined into VAC strain Lister. Each fragment was mapped relative to OV restriction endonuclease maps but was otherwise uncharacterized. Together the recombinants represent 95% of the OV genome in an overlapping manner. Immunofluorescence showed all 16 constructs expressed products recognized by OV antiserum and radioimmune precipitation with the same antiserum allowed the localization of the major antigens of OV to specific recombinants. These data indicated the approximate genomic locations of the genes encoding the OV major antigens and showed that their expression was authentic rather than resulting from read through from VAC sequences adjacent to the site of recombination. Vaccination of OV-naive sheep with the recombinant library provided protection against a subsequent challenge with virulent OV. These data confirm the feasibility of the proposed strategy.

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