Submitted to: American Society for Virology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Bluetongue virus (BTV), an orbivirus, is an important agent to the sheep and cattle industry. Our goal is to identify markers of virulence for BLU- 17. We have identified two characteristics which are associated with virulence - an antigenic change in the outer capsid protein, VP2, and a genetic change in segment 3 which encodes an inner core protein, VP3. VP2 is encoded by segment 2; therefore, these two characteristics reside on different genome segments. The antigenic change in VP2 involves at least two neutralizing epitopes. The genetic change in segment 3 was observed as a difference in migration on polyacrylamide gels. Partial sequence analysis of segment 3 for one virulent and one avirulent isolate reveals 95% nucleotide identity and 98% deduced amino acid identity. We will present sequence analysis for both segments 2 and 3 from virulent and avirulent isolates. In summary, virulent BLU-17 isolates differ from avirulent isolates in the antigenicity of the outer capsid protein and the electrophoretic mobility of segment 3, and we hypothesize that one or both of these changes may result in bluetongue virulence.