The emergence and disappearance of antigenic variants of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) during a field outbreak occurs periodically due to the volatile nature of its genome. In the present analysis, change in antigenic behavior of serotype O FMDV during the serial cytolytic passage in the absence of immune pressure was observed. Initially, the isolate showed a poor antigenic match (relationship value <0.3) with the serotype O vaccine strain and upon serial passage increase in relationship value was observed. Comparison of capsid sequence revealed substitution at four positions (VP3:K58 → E and P158 → S, VP1:E83 → K and R172 → Q) acquired during the serial passage. Examination of passage level and amino acid substitution revealed the critical role of position VP3-58 that was identified earlier as crucial for antigenic site IV, in the observed antigenic variability. The role of position VP3-58 was further confirmed using reverse genetics approach.
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- Antigenic variability
- Cytolytic passage
- Serotype O
- Site IV