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Antigenic analysis of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) variants by using monoclonal antibodies: epitopes of glycoprotein gp90 of EIAV stimulate neutralizing antibodies.

  • K A Hussain
  • C J Issel
  • K L Schnorr
  • P M Rwambo
  • R C Montelaro
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1987
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Monoclonal antibodies produced against the prototype cell-adapted Wyoming strain of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), a lentivirus, were studied for reactivity with the homologous prototype and 16 heterologous isolates. Eighteen hybridomas producing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were isolated. Western blot (immunoblot) analyses indicated that 10 were specific for the major envelope glycoprotein (gp90) and 8 for the transmembrane glycoprotein (gp45). Four MAbs specific to epitopes of gp90 neutralized prototype EIAV infectivity. These neutralizing MAbs apparently reacted with variable regions of the envelope gp90, as evidenced by their unique reactivity with the panel of isolates, suggesting recognition of at least three different neutralization epitopes. The conformation of these epitopes appears to be continuous, as they resisted treatment with sodium dodecyl sulfate and reducing reagents. Monoclonal antibodies that reacted with conserved epitopes on gp90 or gp45 failed to neutralize EIAV. Our data also demonstrated that there was a large spectrum of possible EIAV serotypes and confirmed that antigenic variation occurs with high frequency in EIAV. Moreover, the data showed that variation is a rapid and random process, as no pattern of variant evolution was evident by comparison of 13 isolates from parallel infections. These results represent the first production of neutralizing MAbs specific for a lentivirus glycoprotein and document alterations in one or more neutralization epitopes of the major surface glycoprotein among sequential isolates of EIAV recovered during persistent infection.

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