Protective immunity against equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) infection in mice induced by recombinant EHV-1 gD
The ability of recombinant preparations of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) glycoprotein D (gD) to elicit specific antibody and T lymphocyte responses in the BALB/c mouse model of respiratory infection was investigated. Recombinant gD (rgD) expressed as a glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion protein in Escherichia coli elicited both high titer neutralizing antibody (nAb) and CD4 T cell proliferative responses following subcutaneous or intranasal immunization, but elicited only a weak antibody response after intraperitoneal immunization. Protection against respiratory tract infection with pathogenic EHV-1 RacL11 was observed in mice immunized subcutaneously with GST-gD. Furthermore, the degree of protection correlated to the titer of nAb and the T cell response observed. Finally, GST-gD was more effective in protecting against respiratory RacL11 infection if delivered intranasally. These results confirm that gD plays an important role in eliciting the protective immune response against EHV-1 infection, and indicate that subunit vaccines containing preparations of gD may be very effective if delivered directly to the upper respiratory tract.
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