The sequences of the antigenically relevant capsid proteins VP1-3 of 10 isolates obtained during an epizootic of serotype A foot-and-mouth disease virus in Iran, and collected within two and a half years, were found to be highly similar. However, each isolate differed by at least one amino acid from all others. This prompted us to analyze the immunological reactivity of the isolates. To this end, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against one isolate were generated and characterized with regard to neutralizing activity and reactivity with trypsinized virus. These mAbs as well as others raised against A22 virus were used for antigen profiling. This distinguished four antigenic conditions among the isolates and 16 reactivities among the mAbs. These findings, together with the observed sequence differences indicated the location of several epitopes. Many mAbs recognized the minor antigenic sites on VP2 and 3 and some the major site, the GH-loop of VP1. One epitope was composed of residues of the capsid proteins VP1 and 2.
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