Sera from cattle that had been inoculated with BPV-1 virions or with recombinant L1 proteins and serum from a rabbit that had been immunized with SDS-denatured virions were evaluated for their reactivity with 466 overlapping synthetic peptides corresponding to 95% of the BPV-1 L1 protein. The late serological response of cattle to both intact virions and recombinant L1 proteins exhibited a similar profile of reactivity with approximately 70% (7 of 10) of L1 antigenic sites. However, the L1 serological response of the rabbit to SDS-denatured virions exhibited a significant difference from bovine serum antibodies in the profile of epitopes recognized, including a relative lack of response to major bovine epitopes located between L1 amino acids (AAs) 300–400. Importantly, only the sera from animals inoculated/immunized with intact virions was capable of neutralizing BPV-1 infectivity of murine C127 cells, suggesting that nonlinear epitopes are important for papillomavirus neutralization.

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