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The gene encoding the outer capsid protein, VP2, of African horsesickness virus serotype 3 (AHSV-3) has been sequenced in its entirety from cDNA clones of the segment 2 RNA, and compared with the previously published VP2 gene sequence of AHSV-4. AHSV-3 genome segment 2 was shown to be 3221 nucleotides in length, encoding a protein of 1057 amino acids with a 50.5% identity to the amino acid sequence of AHSV-4 VP2. Two areas of high variability (approximately 35% identity) were identified. The N-proximal variable region (amino acids 128 to 309) exhibited significant hydrophilicity, suggesting a possible role in the determination of the serotype-specific immune response. VP2 of AHSV-3 has furthermore been expressed in a baculovirus expression system. The expressed protein was shown to react specifically with an anti-AHSV-3 serum in Western blots. Antibodies raised in rabbits and guinea-pigs against the recombinant VP2 neutralized the virus in a plaque reduction assay, confirming the identity of VP2 as the major neutralization-specific antigen of AHSV.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date



75 ( Pt 12)


3629 - 3633


African Horse Sickness Virus, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Antibodies, Viral, Antigens, Viral, Capsid, Capsid Proteins, Cloning, Molecular, Gene Expression, Genes, Viral, Guinea Pigs, Molecular Sequence Data, Molecular Weight, Neutralization Tests, Nucleopolyhedrovirus, RNA, Messenger, RNA, Viral, Rabbits, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Viral Structural Proteins