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1.  Immunogenicity of recombinant VP2 proteins of all nine serotypes of African horse sickness virus 
Vaccine  2014;32(39):4932-4937.
African horse sickness (AHS) is an equine disease with a mortality of up to 90% for susceptible horses. The causative agent AHS virus (AHSV) is transmitted by species of Culicoides. AHSV serogroup within the genus Orbivirus of the Reoviridae family consists of nine serotypes that show no or very limited cross-neutralization. Of the seven structural proteins (VP1-VP7) of AHSV, VP2 is the serotype specific protein, and the major target for neutralizing antibodies. In this report, recombinant VP2 proteins of all nine serotypes were expressed individually by the baculovirus expression system and the immunogenicity of each was studied by immunization of guinea pigs with single VP2 as well as with cocktails of VP2 proteins. Homologous neutralizing antibodies measured by 50% plaque reduction assay showed varying degrees (from 37 to 1365) of titers for different VP2 proteins. A low cross-neutralizing antibody titer was found for genetically related AHSV serotypes. Immunization with VP2 cocktails containing equal amounts of each of the VP2 proteins also triggered neutralizing antibodies albeit to lower titers (4-117) to each of the serotypes in the cocktail. This study is a first step to develop a VP2 subunit vaccine for AHS and our results indicate that VP2 subunit vaccines are feasible individually or in a multi-serotype cocktail.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.07.031
PMCID: PMC4148702  PMID: 25045805
African horse sickness; Recombinant protein; Capsid protein VP2; Subunit vaccine
2.  Bluetongue Viruses Based on Modified-Live Vaccine Serotype 6 with Exchanged Outer Shell Proteins Confer Full Protection in Sheep against Virulent BTV8 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44619.
Since 1998, Bluetongue virus (BTV)-serotypes 1, 2, 4, 9, and 16 have invaded European countries around the Mediterranean Basin. In 2006, a huge BT outbreak started after incursion of BTV serotype 8 (BTV8) in North-Western Europe. IN 2008, BTV6 and BTV11 were reported in the Netherlands and Germany, and in Belgium, respectively. In addition, Toggenburg orbivirus (TOV) was detected in 2008 in Swiss goats, which was recognized as a new serotype of BTV (BTV25). The (re-)emergency of BTV serotypes needs a rapid response to supply effective vaccines. Reverse genetics has been developed for BTV1 and more recently also for BTV6. This latter strain, BTV6/net08, is closely related to live-attenuated vaccine for serotype 6 as determined by full genome sequencing. Here, we used this strain as backbone and exchanged segment 2 and 6, respectively Seg-2 (VP2) and Seg-6 (VP5), for those of BTV serotype 1 and 8 using reverse genetics. These so-called ‘serotyped’ vaccine viruses, as mono-serotype and multi-serotype vaccine, were compared for their protective capacity in sheep. In general, all vaccinated animals developed a neutralizing antibody response against their respective serotype. After challenge at three weeks post vaccination with cell-passaged, virulent BTV8/net07 (BTV8/net07/e1/bhkp3) the vaccinated animals showed nearly no clinical reaction. Even more, challenge virus could not be detected, and seroconversion or boostering after challenge was negligible. These data demonstrate that all sheep were protected from a challenge with BTV8/net07, since sheep of the control group showed viremia, seroconversion and clinical signs that are specific for Bluetongue. The high level of cross-protection is discussed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044619
PMCID: PMC3458051  PMID: 23049753

Results 1-2 (2)