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PLOS ONE  2012 

Proteomic Basis of the Antibody Response to Monkeypox Virus Infection Examined in Cynomolgus Macaques and a Comparison to Human Smallpox Vaccination

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015547

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Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease that occurs primarily in Central and West Africa. A recent outbreak in the United States heightened public health concerns for susceptible human populations. Vaccinating with vaccinia virus to prevent smallpox is also effective for monkeypox due to a high degree of sequence conservation. Yet, the identity of antigens within the monkeypox virus proteome contributing to immune responses has not been described in detail. We compared antibody responses to monkeypox virus infection and human smallpox vaccination by using a protein microarray covering 92–95% (166–192 proteins) of representative proteomes from monkeypox viral clades of Central and West Africa, including 92% coverage (250 proteins) of the vaccinia virus proteome as a reference orthopox vaccine. All viral gene clones were verified by sequencing and purified recombinant proteins were used to construct the microarray. Serum IgG of cynomolgus macaques that recovered from monkeypox recognized at least 23 separate proteins within the orthopox proteome, while only 14 of these proteins were recognized by IgG from vaccinated humans. There were 12 of 14 antigens detected by sera of human vaccinees that were also recognized by IgG from convalescent macaques. The greatest level of IgG binding for macaques occurred with the structural proteins F13L and A33R, and the membrane scaffold protein D13L. Significant IgM responses directed towards A44R, F13L and A33R of monkeypox virus were detected before onset of clinical symptoms in macaques. Thus, antibodies from vaccination recognized a small number of proteins shared with pathogenic virus strains, while recovery from infection also involved humoral responses to antigens uniquely recognized within the monkeypox virus proteome.


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