Antigenic identification of virion structural proteins from infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus

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Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), belonging to the genus Megalocytivirus in the family Iridoviridae, is one of the major agents causing mortality and economic losses to the freshwater fish culture industry in Asian countries. Currently, little information regarding the antigenic properties of Megalocytivirus (especially ISKNV) is available. Our previous study using four different workflows with systematic and comprehensive proteomic approaches led to the identification of 38 ISKNV virion-associated proteins (J. Virol. 2869–2877, 2011). Thus, in this report, the antigenicity of 31 structural proteins from ISKNV virion was investigated. A one-dimensional gel electrophoresis immunoblot profile coupled with MALDI-TOF-TOF MS/MS was applied to identify six immunogenic viral proteins, namely, ORFs major capsid protein (006L), 054L, 055L, 101L, 117L, and 125L. Then, the antigenicity of 31 structural proteins was characterized by Western blot by using pooled sera from mandarin fish that survived ISKNV infection. Of the 31 viral proteins, 22 were recognized by the fish ISKNV antiserum. Furthermore, this antiserum neutralizes MFF-1 cells ISKNV infection. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on the immunogenicity of viral proteins and characterization of the proteome of megalocytivirus infective agents. Our findings are expected to promote the development of effective vaccine candidates.

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