Thirteen infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV)-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were isolated after immunization of mice with purified infectious laryngotracheitis virions. On the basis of their reactions in western blot analyses of ILTV-infected cells, the MAbs were assigned to five different virus proteins or protein groups. Two of the viral target proteins could be identified after transient expression of cloned ILTV genes in eucaryotic cells. The MAbs of group II detected a 60-kD protein that was shown to be the ILTV homologue of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) glycoprotein (g)C. The MAbs of group I reacted with the positional homologue of HSV-1 gJ, which is encoded by the open reading frame (ORF) 5 gene within the unique short genome region of ILTV. The ORF 5 gene product of ILTV was previously described as a 60-kD glycoprotein (gp60), whereas multiple protein bands with apparent molecular masses of 85, 115, 160, and 200 kD were identified in the present study. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that both gC and gJ of ILTV are localized in the envelope of virus particles, whereas the 15-kD protein detected by the MAbs of group III presumably represents a tegument component. Immunofluorescence analyses of infected cells demonstrated that the epitopes of the gC- and gJ-specific MAbs are conserved in all tested ILTV isolates originating from different parts of the world and that these MAbs are also suitable for in situ antigen detection in tissues of ILTV-infected chickens. The remaining ILTV-specific MAbs recognized viral proteins of 22 kD (group IV) and 38 kD (group V) that were not further characterized up to now.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2