Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Characterization of human bocavirus-like particles generated by recombinant baculoviruses.

Abstract

Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a nonenveloped, single-stranded DNA virus, classified recently into the genus Bocavirus in the family Parvoviridae. A recombinant baculovirus expression system was used to express the major capsid protein VP2 of HBoV1, HBoV2, HBoV3 and HBoV4 in insect cells. A large amount of the 61-kDa VP2 capsid protein (p61) of HBoVs was generated and efficiently released into the supernatant. The capsid protein was self-assembled into 22-nm-dia. virus-like particles (VLPs) with a buoyant density of 1.30 g/cm3. The morphology of HBoVs-LPs was similar to that of the native HBoV particles, and immunogenic studies demonstrated the cross-reactivity among HBoV1, HBoV2, HBoV3 and HBoV4. When VP1 and VP2 protein of HBoV1 were co-expressed in insect cells, both proteins were detected in the same fraction after CsCl gradient centrifugation, suggesting that the VP1 protein is a minor structural protein of HBoVs. We developed an ELISA using purified VLPs as the antigen and used it to detect antibodies against HBoV1, HBoV2, HBoV3 and HBoV4. A high prevalence of antibodies against HBoVs was found in a general population of healthy Japanese, indicating that HBoVs have spread throughout Japan.