, Volume 158, Issue 5, pp 993-1001
Date: 16 Dec 2012

Development of a liquid-phase blocking ELISA based on foot-and-mouth disease virus empty capsid antigen for seromonitoring vaccinated animals

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In foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) control programme, liquid-phase blocking ELISA (LPBE) is widely used to assay vaccine-induced seroconversion. Currently, the assay utilizes inactivated FMD virus antigen for the detection of antibodies in serum samples. To develop a non-infectious substitute for the antigen in LPBE, we expressed the structural polypeptide of FMDV (serotype A) using a baculovirus expression system, and show that inclusion of viral 3C with reduced protease activity resulted in a higher yield of structural proteins. Structural proteins expressed in insect cells assembled into empty virus-like particles (VLPs) and showed antigenicity comparable to chemically inactivated FMDV. Screening of serum samples from FMD-vaccinated cattle showed that the test performance of VLP-LPBE had a correlation of 0.89 with conventional inactivated virus antigen LPBE. The VLP-LPBE developed here demonstrates the diagnostic application of recombinant FMDV VLPs in monitoring seroconversion following FMD vaccination.