Use of Recombinant pp38 Antigen of Marek's Disease Virus to Identify Serotype 1-specific Antibodies in Chicken Sera by Western Blotting

J Virol Methods. 1994 Dec;50(1-3):185-95. doi: 10.1016/0166-0934(94)90175-9.


A fowlpox recombinant expressing the pp38 antigen of Marek's disease virus has been constructed. Production of pp38 in chick embryo fibroblasts (CEF) infected at a m.o.i. of 1 pfu/cell occurred over a period of 5 days and reached a peak at 72 h after infection. The pp38 antigen could be released from infected cells by freezing and thawing. Western blot analysis showed that denatured pp38 antigen reacted with antisera from chickens inoculated with serotype 1 MDV but failed to react with antisera from chickens inoculated with MDV serotype 2 or HVT. The results suggest that MDV pp38 contains a serotype 1-specific epitope which becomes available upon denaturation of the antigen and that this could be exploited to identify MDV-specific antibodies in epidemiological studies. The relationship between pp38 and the related polypeptides pp24 and pp41 in MDV-infected cells was also examined. The results suggest that pp24 and pp38 are synthesised independently and that MDV coded proteins (probably a protein kinase) might be required to convert pp38 to pp41.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antigens, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chickens / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Gallid / immunology*
  • Marek Disease / blood
  • Marek Disease / virology*
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Serotyping / methods


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • phosphoprotein pp38, Marek's disease virus