The human antibody response to polyomavirus capsid proteins is not well characterized. Recombinant BK virus (BKV), JC virus (JCV) and simian virus 40 (SV40) virus-like particles (VLP) were produced in a baculovirus system, and mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to these proteins were generated using standard methods. Nine of 12 BKV mAbs showed neutralizing activity. The non-neutralizing antibodies also bound BKV pseudocapsids in an ELISA binding assay. Most antibodies recognized conformational species-specific epitopes, but several exceptions were found: (i) BKV mAb BK-F11 cross-reacted with a linear buried epitope common to both JCV and SV40 pseudocapsids, (ii) two of six JCV antibodies (JC-6.7 and JC-7.9) and two of 13 SV40 antibodies (VP1-H2 and VP1-I2) recognized linear buried epitopes common to all three viruses and (iii) SV40 antibody VP1-E5 recognized a linear surface epitope on JCV pseudocapsids.
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