U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Clinical and Vaccine Immunology Volume 20 Number 12 p. 1817–1826



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Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne’s disease (JD) in ruminants. Proteomic studies have shown that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis expresses certain proteins when exposed to in vitro physiological stress conditions similar to the conditions experienced within a host during natural infection. Such proteins are hypothesized to be ex- pressed in vivo, are recognized by the host immune system, and may be of potential use in the diagnosis of JD. In this study, 50 recombinant maltose binding protein (MBP)-M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis fusion proteins were evaluated using serum samples from sheep infected with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, and 29 (58%) were found to be antigenic. Among 50 fusion proteins, 10 were evaluated in MBP fusion and factor Xa-cleaved forms. A total of 31 proteins (62%) were found to be antigenic in either MBP fusion or factor Xa-cleaved forms. Antigenicity after cleavage and removal of the MBP tag was marginally enhanced.