Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV), the etiological agent of Gumboro disease, causes mortality and immunosuppression in chickens and major losses to poultry industry worldwide. The IBDV major capsid protein VP2 is considered the best candidate for the production of novel subunit vaccines. This structural protein contains the major conformational epitopes responsible for the induction of IBDV neutralizing antibodies in chickens and has been demonstrated able to form supramolecular structures in yeast and insect cells. The aim of this study was to express an engineered version of the VP2 protein (His-pVP2) to verify its ability to self-assemble into virus-like particles in plants. The recombinant VP2 was transiently expressed by agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana and transmission electron microscopy of sucrose density gradient fractions revealed the presence of a mixed population of differently shaped particles ranging from spherical capsids, with a diameter between ~25 and ~70 nm, to tubular structures, with variable length (from 100 to 400 nm). The recombinant VP2-based particles when used for the intramuscular immunization of specific-pathogen-free chicks resulted able to induce the production of anti-IBDV specific antibodies at titers comparable to those induced by a commercial vaccine. Moreover, all the immunized birds survived to the challenge with a Moroccan very virulent IBDV strain with no major histomorphological alterations of the Bursa of Fabricius, similarly to what obtained with the commercial inactivated vaccine.

The expression in plants of an engineered VP2 protein of Infectious Bursal Disease Virus induces formation of structurally heterogeneous particles that protect from a very virulent viral strain

Marusic C.;Donini M.;Lico C.;Baschieri S.
2021

Abstract

Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV), the etiological agent of Gumboro disease, causes mortality and immunosuppression in chickens and major losses to poultry industry worldwide. The IBDV major capsid protein VP2 is considered the best candidate for the production of novel subunit vaccines. This structural protein contains the major conformational epitopes responsible for the induction of IBDV neutralizing antibodies in chickens and has been demonstrated able to form supramolecular structures in yeast and insect cells. The aim of this study was to express an engineered version of the VP2 protein (His-pVP2) to verify its ability to self-assemble into virus-like particles in plants. The recombinant VP2 was transiently expressed by agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana and transmission electron microscopy of sucrose density gradient fractions revealed the presence of a mixed population of differently shaped particles ranging from spherical capsids, with a diameter between ~25 and ~70 nm, to tubular structures, with variable length (from 100 to 400 nm). The recombinant VP2-based particles when used for the intramuscular immunization of specific-pathogen-free chicks resulted able to induce the production of anti-IBDV specific antibodies at titers comparable to those induced by a commercial vaccine. Moreover, all the immunized birds survived to the challenge with a Moroccan very virulent IBDV strain with no major histomorphological alterations of the Bursa of Fabricius, similarly to what obtained with the commercial inactivated vaccine.
Animals
Blotting, Western
Capsid
Chickens
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Infectious bursal disease virus
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Recombinant Proteins
Tobacco
Virulence
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/65609
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