Production and Characterization of Monoclonal Antibodies to Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) Virus

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Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an acute, febrile viral disease of small ruminants, caused by a virus of the genus Morbillivirus. PPR and rinderpest viruses are antigenically related and need to be differentiated serologically. In the present study, 23 mouse monoclonal antibodies were produced by polyethyleneglycol (PEG)-mediated fusion of sensitized lymphocytes and myeloma cells. Among these, two belong to the IgM class and the remaining 21 to various subclasses of IgG. The MAbs from the IgG class designated 4B6 and 4B11 neutralized PPR virus in vitro. In radioimmunoprecipitation assay, 10 MAbs recognized nucleoprotein, 4 recognized the matrix protein and one each haemagglutinin and phosphoprotein. The remaining 7 MAbs failed to precipitate any defined viral protein. The reactivity pattern of the monoclonal antibodies in indirect ELISA indicated a close antigenic relationship within three Indian PPR (lineage 4) virus isolates and also within two rinderpest vaccine strains. All PPR virus isolates could be distinguished from rinderpest vaccine viruses on the basis of the reactivity pattern of all MAbs and anti-N protein MAbs. A set of six monoclonal antibodies specific to PPR virus could also be identified from the panel. From the panel of MAbs available, two MAbs were selected for diagnostic applications, one each for the detection of antigens and antibodies to PPR virus.

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