The relative contribution of measles virus hemagglutinin (H)- or fusion protein (F)-specific antibodies to virus neutralization (VN) has not been demonstrated. We have depleted these specific antibodies from sera collected from young adults, who had been vaccinated during childhood, by prolonged incubation with viable transfected human melanoma cells expressing H or F. Simultaneous depletion of antibodies of both specificities completely abrogated VN activity. Depletion of F-specific antibodies only had a minimal effect, whereas removal of H-specific antibodies resulted in almost complete reduction of VN activity. These results demonstrate that measles virus neutralizing antibodies are mainly directed to the H protein.

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Journal of Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Swart, R., Yüksel, S., & Osterhaus, A. (2005). Relative contributions of measles virus hemagglutinin- and fusion protein- specific serum antibodies to virus neutralization. Journal of Virology, 79(17), 11547–11551. doi:10.1128/JVI.79.17.11547-11551.2005