JOURNAL ARTICLE

Development and evaluation of single domain antibodies for vaccinia and the L1 antigen

Scott A Walper, Jinny L Liu, Daniel Zabetakis, George P Anderson, Ellen R Goldman
PloS One 2014, 9 (9): e106263
25211488
There is ongoing interest to develop high affinity, thermal stable recognition elements to replace conventional antibodies in biothreat detection assays. As part of this effort, single domain antibodies that target vaccinia virus were developed. Two llamas were immunized with killed viral particles followed by boosts with the recombinant membrane protein, L1, to stimulate the immune response for envelope and membrane proteins of the virus. The variable domains of the induced heavy chain antibodies were selected from M13 phage display libraries developed from isolated RNA. Selection via biopanning on the L1 antigen produced single domain antibodies that were specific and had affinities ranging from 4×10(-9) M to 7.0×10(-10) M, as determined by surface plasmon resonance. Several showed good ability to refold after heat denaturation. These L1-binding single domain antibodies, however, failed to recognize the killed vaccinia antigen. Useful vaccinia binding single domain antibodies were isolated by a second selection using the killed virus as the target. The virus binding single domain antibodies were incorporated in sandwich assays as both capture and tracer using the MAGPIX system yielding limits of detection down to 4×10(5) pfu/ml, a four-fold improvement over the limit obtained using conventional antibodies. This work demonstrates the development of anti-vaccinia single domain antibodies and their incorporation into sandwich assays for viral detection. It also highlights the properties of high affinity and thermal stability that are hallmarks of single domain antibodies.

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