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The Epstein-Barr virus candidate vaccine antigen gp340/220 is highly conserved between virus types A and B

The Epstein-Barr virus candidate vaccine antigen gp340/220 is highly conserved between virus types A and B

Virology 195(2): 578-586

ISSN/ISBN: 0042-6822

PMID: 8393237

DOI: 10.1006/viro.1993.1409

Anti-Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) vaccines are being developed which are based on the gp340/220 membrane antigen (MA) gene products from the B95-8 strain. Some proteins are known to be immunologically quite different between type-A (1) and type-B (2) strains of EBV and therefore from a vaccine point of view it was critical to evaluate the degree of conservation of gp340/220. The complete MA coding sequence was determined for two B-type viruses, AG876 and P3HR-1, for comparison with the A-type B95-8. A variable region within MA was sequenced from several other strains. In addition the other open reading frames within the MA-containing BamHI-L fragment of AG876 were sequenced and compared. The results show that there is a high degree of homology between all strains examined. Although some differences were found within the MA coding sequence the only major site of variation was within the repeat region and no consistent A/B changes were found. Monoclonal antibodies generated against A-type MA and representing six epitope groups along the length of the gp340 molecule were found to recognize B-type gp340, thereby demonstrating functional homology. We conclude that, as a vaccine antigen, B95-8 gp340/220 should be equally effective against both types of EBV.

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Accession: 018151720

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