A bivalent dendrimeric peptide bearing a T-cell epitope from foot-and-mouth disease virus protein 3A improves humoral response against classical swine fever virus
Bohórquez, José Alejandro
Muñoz González, Sara
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Three dendrimeric peptides were synthesized in order to evaluate their immunogenicity and their potential protection against classical swine fever virus (CSFV) in domestic pigs. Construct 1, an optimized version of a previously used dendrimer, had four copies of a B-cell epitope derived from CSFV E2 glycoprotein connected to an also CSFV-derived T-cell epitope through maleimide instead of thioether linkages. Construct 2 was similarly built but included only two copies of the B-cell epitope, and in also bivalent construct 3 the CSFV T-cell epitope was replaced by a previously described one from the 3A protein of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Animals were inoculated twice with a 21-day interval and challenged 15days after the second immunization. Clinical signs were recorded daily and ELISA tests were performed to detect antibodies against specific peptide and E2. The neutralising antibody response was assessed 13days after challenge. Despite the change to maleimide connectivity, only partial protection against CSFV was again observed. The best clinical protection was observed in group 3. Animals inoculated with constructs 2 and 3 showed higher anti-peptide humoral response, suggesting that two copies of the B-cell epitope are sufficient or even better than four copies for swine immune recognition. In addition, for construct 3 higher neutralizing antibody titres against CSFV were detected. Our results support the immunogenicity of the CSFV B-cell epitope and the cooperative role of the FMDV 3A T-cell epitope in inducing a neutralising response against CSFV in domestic pigs. This is also the first time that the FMDV T-cell epitope shows effectivity in improving swine immune response against a different virus. Our findings highlight the relevance of dendrimeric peptides as a powerful tool for epitope characterization and antiviral strategies development.
Is part ofVirus Research, 2017, vol. 238, p. 8-12
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