Seven mAbs with specific reaction patterns against each of the four genotypes and eight subtypes of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) were produced, aiming to establish an immunoassay for typing VHSV isolates according to their genotype. Among the mAbs, VHS-1.24 reacted with all genotypes except genotype Ie, whilst mAb VHS-9.23 reacted with all genotypes except genotype III. mAb VHS-3.80 reacted with genotypes Ib, Ic, Id and II. mAb VHS-7.57 reacted with genotypes II and IVa, and mAb VHS-5.18 with genotype Ib only. Interestingly, mAb VHS-3.75 reacted with all of the genotype III isolates except a rainbow trout-pathogenic isolate from the west coast of Norway, and reacted in addition with the IVb isolate, CA-NB00-01, from the east coast of the USA. Finally, mAb VHS-1.88 reacted with all genotype IVb isolates from the Great Lakes, but not with CA-NB00-01. In conclusion, we can distinguish between all four genotypes and between five of eight subtypes of VHSV by testing isolates in immunoassay using a panel of nine mAbs. By Western blotting and transfection of cell cultures, it was shown that mAb VHS-1.24 recognized an epitope on the viral phosphoprotein (P), whilst all others recognized antigenic determinants on the nucleoprotein (N). From amino acid alignments of the various genotypes and subtypes of VHSV isolates, it was possible to determine the epitope specificity of mAb VHS-1.24 to be aa 32–34 in the P-protein; the specificities of mAbs VHS-3.80, VHS-7.57 and VHS-3.75 were found to be aa 43 and 45–48, aa 117 and 121, and aa 103, 118 and 121 of the N-protein, respectively.
Journal of General Virology, 2012, Vol 93, Issue Pt 12, p. 2546-2557