The sequence TAVSPTTLR is a conserved and linear neutralizing epitope on the glycoprotein E2 of classical swine fever virus. In this study, TAVSPTTLR-directed antibodies, induced either by virions or by an epitope-focused immunogen, were characterized. The results revealed that despite the same epitope specificity, the antibodies induced by different immunogens varied significantly both in the neutralizing test and in binding inhibition assays. This suggests that the protective immunity induced by this epitope is due to more than simply the epitope specificity and that this epitope might need essential contributions from its flanking context to induce functional epitope-specific antibodies.
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