Production of a monoclonal antibody specific to the El Amar strain of plum pox virus
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Plum pox virus (PPV) isolates are grouped into three clusters differentiated by biological, serological, molecular and epidemiological characteristics: Marcus (M), Dideron (D) and Cherry (C). The El Amar (EA) isolate that does not fit any of the above groups is also known. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that specifically recognize M, D, and C strains of PPV are already available. To complete the set of PPV strain-specific serological reagents, MAbs against the EA isolate were raised by immunizing BALB/c mice and fusing their spleen cells with NS0/1 myeloma cells. After a preliminary characterization by double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(DAS-ELISA), 1 of 13 selected MAbs proved to be EA strain-specific. This MAb (EA24) reacted equally well with a homologous antigen and several PPV isolates from Egyptian apricot trees, supporting the hypothesis of an additional specific PPV group. MAb EA24 did not react either with about a hundred PPV isolates belonging to the D and M groups or with PPV-SwC and PPV-SoC isolates belonging to the C group. The strain specificity of MAb EA24 was confirmed by Western blot analysis and immunoelectron microscopy. We conclude that there is now available a set of MAbs which are highly specific to the four currently known groups of PPV strains.