Serological cross-reactivities between antibodies to simian virus 40, BK virus, and JC virus assessed by virus-like-particle-based enzyme immunoassays

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2003 Mar;10(2):278-85. doi: 10.1128/cdli.10.2.278-285.2003.


Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for detection of serum antibodies to simian virus 40 (SV40), BK virus (BKV), and JC virus (JCV) were developed by using virus-like-particles (VLPs) produced in insect cells from recombinant baculoviruses expressing the VP1 protein of the respective virus. Rhesus macaque sera with neutralizing antibodies to SV40 showed a high level of reactivity in the SV40 VLP-based EIA, and these sera also showed lower levels of reactivity in the BKV and JCV VLP-based EIAs. Rhesus macaque sera negative for neutralizing antibodies to SV40 were negative in all three EIAs. Competitive binding assays showed that SV40 VLPs inhibited BKV reactivity. In rhesus macaque sera, high optical density (OD) values for antibodies to SV40 VLPs were correlated with high OD values for antibodies to BKV but not with high OD values for antibodies to JCV VLPs. Human sera with neutralizing antibodies to SV40 were more reactive to SV40 VLPs than human sera without neutralizing antibodies to SV40. The greater SV40 reactivities of human sera were correlated with greater reactivities to BKV VLPs but not JCV VLPs. These data suggest that cross-reactivity with BKV antibodies may account for part of the low-level SV40 reactivity seen in human sera. With their greater versatility and their suitability for large-scale testing, the VLP-based EIAs for SV40, BKV, and JCV are likely to contribute to a better understanding of the biology of these viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • BK Virus / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods*
  • JC Virus / immunology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Simian virus 40 / immunology*
  • Virion


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral