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2006 | 53 | 2 | 371-376
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Recombinant VP60 in the form of virion-like particles as a potential vaccine against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus*

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Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) which causes a highly contagious disease of wild and domestic rabbits belongs to the family Caliciviridae. It is a small, positive single-stranded RNA virus with a genome of 7.5 kb and has a diameter of approximately 40 nm. In negatively stained electron micrographs the virus shows typical calicivirus morphology with regularly arranged cup-shaped structures on the surface. It is a major pathogen of rabbits in many countries. Vp60 - a coat protein of molecular mass around 60 kDa is the major antigen of RHDV. It is present as 90 dimeric units per virion particle. We have expressed VP60 gene in the baculovirus system with the aim to use it as a potential vaccine against RHDV and a diagnostic reagent in immunological tests. cDNA of the vp60 gene of strain SGM, was cloned into a baculovirus transfer vector as full-length gene, as well as truncated gene lacking 600 5´-terminal nucleotides. The sequence of SGM VP60 differed markedly from that of the reference strain. Full-length recombinant VP60 protein from the SGM strain self-assembled to form virus-like particles (VLPs). These particles observed by electron microscopy were morphologically similar to native virions and were able to agglutinate human group 0 erythrocytes. After immunization the recombinant particles induced RHDV-specific antibodies in rabbits and guinea pigs. Rabbits immunized with the VLPs were fully protected against challenge with a virulent RHDV.
baculovirus   VLP   RHDV   VP60  

Physical description
  • Department of Molecular Virology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Department of Molecular Virology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Department of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, National Veterinary Research Institute, Zduńska Wola, Poland
  • Department of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, National Veterinary Research Institute, Zduńska Wola, Poland
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