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Immunization With VP2 Is Sufficient For Protection Against Lethal Challenge With African Horsesickness Virus Type 4.

M. Stone-Marschat, S. R. Moss, T. Burrage, M. Barber, P. Roy, W. Laegreid
Published 1996 · Biology, Medicine

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Horses were immunized by inoculation with a vaccinia construct containing a full-length cDNA corresponding to the L2 gene segment of African horsesickness virus type 4(AHSV-4). All immunized horses developed serum neutralizing antibodies prior to challenge with virulent AHSV-4. No ELISA-reactive antibodies were present prior to challenge. A group of four seronegative control horses died after developing clinical signs and lesions typical of the pulmonary form of African horsesickness while the immunized horses were clinically normal. Increases in serum neutralizing and ELISA-reactive antibody titers following challenge indicate that at least some replication of challenge virus occurred in immunized horses. These results demonstrate that AHSV VP2 alone is sufficient to induce a protective immune response in horses and indicate the usefulness of ELISA-reactive antibodies for differentiation of vaccinated and naturally exposed horses.



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