Astroviruses are becoming a growing concern in veterinary and public health. To date there are no registered vaccines against astrovirus-induced disease, mostly due to the difficulty to cultivate astroviruses to high titer for vaccine development using conventional techniques. As means to circumvent this drawback, we have developed stably transfected mink fetal cells and BHK21 cells constitutively expressing the full-length and truncated capsid proteins of two distinct genotypes of mink astrovirus. Protein expression in these stably transfected cells was demonstrated by strong signals as evaluated by in-situ PLA and IFA, and confirmed by Western blotting. The recombinant full-length and truncated proteins induced a high level of antibodies in mink, evaluated by ELISA, demonstrating their immunogenicity. In a challenge experiment in mink, a reduction in presentation clinical signs and virus shedding was observed in mink kits born from immunized females. The gene integration and protein expression were sustained through cell passage, showing that the used approach is robust and reliable for expression of functional capsid proteins for vaccine and diagnostic applications.
Copyright: 2013 Bidokhti et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.