Localization and diagnostic application of immunodominant domains of the BFRF3-encoded Epstein-Barr virus capsid protein

W M van Grunsven, W J Spaan, J M Middeldorp

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The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) open reading frame BFRF3 encodes a viral structural capsid protein or tegument protein, VCA p18, that is highly immunogenic in humans. In this study, a cluster of immunodominant epitopes in the C-terminus of VCA p18 has been identified. These epitopes were combined into a single synthetic peptide that was analyzed for diagnostic value in an ELISA. This VCA combined peptide appeared to be an excellent VCA marker with remarkable applications for IgG- and IgM-related EBV diagnostics. The combined peptide reacted with 95% of 159 sera that were IgG VCA-positive by immunofluorescence assay. In addition, 95% of sera from 67 persons with confirmed infectious mononucleosis were positive for IgM antibodies to this VCA combined peptide. An IgG-specific seroconversion could be demonstrated by subsequent serum samples during the acute phase of primary EBV infections. Although 97% of the tested sera from nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients had IgG antibodies reacting positively with the VCA combined peptide, only 61% contained IgA anti-VCA combined peptide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-9
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of infectious diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Capsid
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Journal Article
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms

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