Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is an acute and contagious viral infection of young chickens caused by IBD virus (IBDV). The VP2 protein of IBDV is the only antigen for inducing neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity in the natural host. In the current study, we have succeeded in construction of one recombinant baculovirus BacSC-VP2 expressing His6-tagged VP2 with the baculovirus envelope protein gp64 transmembrane domain (TM) and cytoplasmic domain (CTD). The His6-tagged recombinant VP2 was expressed and anchored on the plasma membrane of Sf-9 cells, as examined by western blot and confocal microscopy. Immunogold electron microscopy demonstrated that the VP2 protein of IBDV was successfully displayed on the viral surface. Vaccination of chickens with the VP2-pseudotyped baculovirus vaccine (BacSC-VP2) elicited significantly higher levels of VP2-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antibodies and neutralizing antibodies than the control groups. IBDV-specific proliferation of lymphocytes was observed in chickens immunized with the recombinant BacSC-VP2. An in vivo challenge study of the recombinant baculovirus BacSC-VP2 showed effective protection against a very virulent (vv) IBDV infection in chickens. In addition, mortality and gross and histopathological findings in the bursa demonstrated the efficacy of the vaccine in reducing virulence of the disease. These results indicate that the recombinant baculovirus BacSC-VP2 can be a potential vaccine against IBDV infections.
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Vol. 55 • No. 2