Astroviruses are important agents of pediatric gastroenteritis. To better understand astrovirus antigenic structure and the basis of protective immunity, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were produced against serotype 1 human astrovirus. Four MAbs were generated. One MAb (8G4) was nonneutralizing but reacted to all seven serotypes of astrovirus by enzyme-linked immunosorbentassay (ELISA) and immunoperoxidase staining of infected cells. Three MAbs were found to have potent neutralizing activity against astrovirus. The first (5B7) was serotype 1 specific, another (7C2) neutralized all seven human astrovirus serotypes, while the third (3B2) neutralized serotypes 1 and 7. Immunoprecipitation of radiolabeled astrovirus proteins from supernatants of astrovirus-infected cells showed that all three neutralizing antibodies reacted with VP29. MAb 5B7 also reacted strongly with VP26. A competition ELISA showed that all three neutralizing antibodies competed with each other for binding to purified astrovirus virions, suggesting that their epitopes were topographically in close proximity. None of the neutralizing MAbs competed with nonneutralizing MAb 8G4. The neutralizing MAbs were used to select antigenic variant astroviruses, which were then studied in neutralization assays. These assays also suggested a close relationship between the respective epitopes. All three neutralizing MAbs were able to prevent attachment of radiolabeled astrovirus particles to human Caco 2 intestinal cell monolayers. Taken together, these data suggest that the astrovirus capsid protein VP29 may be important in viral neutralization, heterotypic immunity, and virus attachment to target cells.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997YB14300068
View details for PubMedID 9343224