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Research Project: Immunological Intervention of Malignant Catarrhal Fever Virus-Induced Disease in Ruminants

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies among malignant catarrhal fever viruses

Author
item Taus, Naomi
item MARQUARD, JANA - Washington State University
item CUNHA, CRISTINA - Washington State University
item O'TOOLE, DONAL - University Of Washington
item Li, Hong

Submitted to: PLoS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/29/2015
Publication Date: 12/14/2015
Citation: Taus, N.S., Marquard, J., Cunha, C.W., O'Toole, D., Li, H. 2015. Cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies among malignant catarrhal fever viruses. PLoS One. 10(12):30145073.

Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is an often fatal disease of bison, cattle and other ruminants. It is caused by a group of related herpesviruses (MCFV) which cluster in two groups based on sequence analysis. These subgroups correspond to the subfamilies of animals that are the reservoir hosts, which remain disease free, of the viruses. This report examined whether antibodies directed against one MCFV also recognized and neutralized viruses within and between subgroups. The results showed that antibody cross reactivity exists to MCFVs within a virus subgroup but not between subgroups. This information is important for diagnosis of MCF and vaccine development.

Technical Abstract: Gamma herpesviruses in the genus Macavirus are maintained in nature as subclinical infections in well-adapted ungulate hosts. Transmission of these viruses to poorly adapted hosts, such as American bison and cattle, can result in the frequently fatal disease referred to as malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). Based on phylogenetic analysis, the MCF viruses (MCFV) cluster into two subgroups corresponding to the reservoir hosts’ subfamilies: Alcelaphinae/Hippotraginae and Caprinae. Antibody cross-reactivity among MCFVs have been demonstrated using techniques such as ELISA and IFA. However, minimal information is available as to whether virus neutralizing antibodies generated against one MCFV cross react with other members of the genus. This study tested the neutralizing activity of serum and plasma from select MCFV-infected reservoir hosts against Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) and Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2). Neutralizing antibody activity against AlHV-1 was detected in samples from infected hosts in the Alcelaphinae and Hippotraginae subfamilies, but not from hosts in the Caprinae subfamily. OvHV-2 neutralizing activity was demonstrated in samples from goats (Caprinae) but not from wildebeest (Alcelaphinae). These results indicate that antibody cross reactivity exists to MCFVs within a virus subgroup but not between subgroups. This information is important for diagnosis of MCF and vaccine development.