Although antibody-mediated immune mechanisms have been shown to be important in immunity to ASF, it remains unclear what role virus neutralizing antibodies play in the protective response. Virus neutralizing epitopes have been identified on three viral proteins, p30, p54, and p72. To evaluate the role(s) of these proteins in protective immunity, pigs were immunized with baculovirus-expressed p30, p54, p72, and p22 from the pathogenic African swine fever virus (ASFV) isolate Pr4. ASFV specific neutralizing antibodies were detected in test group animals. Following immunization, animals were challenged with 104 TCID50 of Pr4 virus. In comparison to the control group, test group animals exhibited a 2-day delay to onset of clinical disease and reduced viremia levels at 2 days postinfection (DPI); however, by 4 DPI, there was no significant difference between the two groups and all animals in both groups died between 7 and 10 DPI. These results indicate that neutralizing antibodies to these ASFV proteins are not sufficient for antibody-mediated protection. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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