Murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were generated against phocid herpesviruses (PhHV 2557/Han88 and 7848/Han90) isolated from European harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), and against strains of both felid (FHV strain FVR 605) and canid herpesviruses (CHV isolate 5105/Han89). MAbs were characterized with respect to certain biological properties and used to outline antigenicity profiles of isolates of PhHV (n = 8), FHV (n = 7) and CHV (n = 3) in enzyme immunoassays employing fixed infected cells. A close antigenic relationship between herpesviruses derived from pinnipeds and terrestrial carnivores became evident: The majority of the MAbs was directed against epitopes which were expressed by at least two of the viral species tested. A number of MAbs detected epitopes which were conserved between all isolates of PhHV, FHV and CHV. A few MAbs recognized type-specific B-cell epitopes and facilitated the identification of single viral species. Moreover, the PhHV isolate 7848/Han90 was antigenically distinguishable both from seven other phocid herpesvirus isolates and from FHV or CHV. PhHV 7848/Han90 proved to be antigenically distinct from all other viruses tested when examined by cross neutralization utilizing various reconvalescent and hyperimmune sera. Although more data are needed to ensure that PhHV 7848/Han90 indeed is a new genuine seal herpesvirus, the preliminary clustering of two groups of phocid herpesvirus isolates, tentatively designated PhHV-1 (type isolate 2557/Han88) and PhHV-2 (represented by 7848/Han90), seems to be justified. By using selected MAbs an unambiguous identification and typing of herpesvirus isolates derived from marine mammals and terrestrial carnivores is significantly facilitated.

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Archives of Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lebich, M., Harder, T., Frey, H. R., Visser, I., Osterhaus, A., & Liess, B. (1994). Comparative immunological characterization of type-specific and conserved B-cell epitopes of pinniped, felid and canid herpesviruses. Archives of Virology, 136(3-4), 335–347. doi:10.1007/BF01321062