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Identification of antigenic peptides derived from B-cell epitopes of nucleocapsid protein of mouse hepatitis virus for serological diagnosis

Asano, Atsushi, Torigoe, Daisuke, Sasaki, Nobuya, Agui, Takashi
Journal of virological methods 2011 v.177 no.1 pp. 107-111
B-lymphocytes, Murine hepatitis virus, antiserum, cages, encephalitis, enteritis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, epitopes, hepatitis, mice, nucleocapsid proteins, peptides, screening, serodiagnosis, virion, viruses
Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) infection is found commonly in laboratory mice and this virus has been known to cause various diseases such as subclinical infection, enteritis, hepatitis, and encephalitis. Serological tests are used commonly to diagnose MHV infection. Complete MHV virions have been used primarily as antigens for serological diagnosis to date. To develop an antigen that is more specific, more sensitive, and easier to prepare for serological diagnosis, the antigenic sites in the MHV-nucleocapsid (N) protein were screened in this study. Sixteen antigenic linear sequences in the N protein were found using antisera obtained from mice infected naturally with MHV and a peptide array containing overlapping 10-mer peptides covering the entire N protein. From these antigenic sequences, two synthesized peptides, ILKKTTWADQTERGL and RFDSTLPGFETIMKVL, which were consistent with positions 24–38 and 357–372 of the N protein respectively, were used as antigens in ELISA. Evaluation of ELISA with these peptides revealed that both peptides were specific to anti-MHV antisera. Furthermore, ELISA performed using these peptides was more sensitive than commercial ELISA used for a screening sera from mice infected accidentally to MHV maintained in cages, suggesting that these peptides are useful for serological diagnosis of MHV infection.