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Detection of human respiratory syncytial virus genotype specific antibody responses in infants

Lookup NU author(s): Rachel Marsh, Emeritus Professor Alan Craft, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Toms


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Infection and reinfection of infants with human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) occur despite the presence of serum anti-viral glycoprotein antibodies similar to those, which afford protection in animal models of infection. Antigenic variation of the viral glycoproteins between different genotypes of the virus which co-circulate in the population may contribute to the ability of the virus to escape from antibody-mediated protection. In this study, we have investigated whether human infants infected with HRSV produced antibody responses recognising the antigenic differences between different contemporary genotypes of virus. Acute and convalescent sera from 26 infants were analysed for antibody responses to the glycoproteins of the virus isolated from their respiratory tract and to representative viruses of homologous and heterologous genotypes. All infants developed antibodies with similar reactivity for viruses of all contemporary isolates and genotypes when measured in an immunofluorescence assay against unfixed virus infected cells. However, when antibody responses to the individual glycoproteins were measured in a surace plasmon resonance (SPR) assay, although all infants developed genotype cross-reactive antibodies to the F glycoprotein, anti-G antibodies were detectable in only half of the infants and in all cases these were genotype specific. Possession of no or only genotype specific antibodies to the G glycoprotein may contribute to the susceptibility of infants to reinfection. In both assays, reactivity of anti-glycoprotein antibodies with the subgroup A archetypal strain, A2, was markedly lower than with any contemporary virus tested indicating that this strain alone is unsuitable for accurate assessment of infant antibody responses. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McGill, A., Greensill, J., Marsh, R., Craft, A. W., Toms, G. L.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Medical Virology

Year: 2004

Volume: 74

Issue: 3

Pages: 492-498

ISSN (print): 0146-6615

ISSN (electronic): 1096-9071


DOI: 10.1002/jmv.20203

PubMed id: 15368511


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