The single member of the Asfarviridae family is African swine fever virus (ASFV). This double-stranded DNA virus infects wild and farmed swine and loses the pig industry large sums of money. An inner envelope, capsid, and outer envelope are parts of the ASFV particle containing structural proteins playing different roles in the process of infection or host immune defence evasion. When expressed by the baculovirus system, the p22 protein from the inner envelope was found to induce partial protection against a virulent virus strain. This study aimed to express a part of this protein in a different system and evaluate its immunogenicity.
We designed two proteins, the extracellular (C terminal) part of the p22 protein (p22Ct) and its fusion with the heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit from
The protein fused with LTB did not show the expected adjuvant properties and did not prove safe, because abscess formation was observed after immunisation. In contrast, immunisation with the p22Ct protein alone induced a higher antibody titre but caused no adverse symptoms.
These results show the high potential of the p22Ct region as an immunogenic protein for ASFV serological detection purposes.