Capsid-Specific Antibody Responses of Domestic Pigs Immunized with Low-Virulent African Swine Fever Virus

African swine fever (ASF) is a lethal disease in pigs that has grave socio-economic implications worldwide. For the development of vaccines against the African swine fever virus (ASFV), immunogenic antigens that generate protective immune responses need to be identified. There are over 150 viral proteins—many of which are uncharacterized—and humoral immunity to ASFV has not been closely examined. To profile antigen-specific antibody responses, we developed luciferase-linked antibody capture assays (LACAs) for a panel of ASFV capsid proteins and screened sera from inbred and outbred animals that were previously immunized with low-virulent ASFV before challenge with virulent ASFV. Antibodies to B646L/p72, D117L/p17, M1249L, and E120R/p14.5 were detected in this study; however, we were unable to detect B438L-specific antibodies. Anti-B646L/p72 and B602L antibodies were associated with recovery from disease after challenges with genotype I OUR T88/1 but not genotype II Georgia 2007/1. Antibody responses against M1249L and E120R/p14.5 were observed in animals with reduced clinical signs and viremia. Here, we present LACAs as a tool for the targeted profiling of antigen-specific antibody responses to inform vaccine development.

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