Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 9, pp 4131–4142 | Cite as

A 12-residue epitope displayed on phage T7 reacts strongly with antibodies against foot-and-mouth disease virus

  • Chuan Loo Wong
  • Chean Yeah Yong
  • Azira Muhamad
  • Amir Syahir
  • Abdul Rahman Omar
  • Chin Chin Sieo
  • Wen Siang Tan
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a major threat to the livestock industry worldwide. Despite constant surveillance and effective vaccination, the perpetual mutations of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) pose a huge challenge to FMD diagnosis. The immunodominant region of the FMDV VP1 protein (residues 131–170) displayed on phage T7 has been used to detect anti-FMDV in bovine sera. In the present study, the functional epitope was further delineated using amino acid sequence alignment, homology modelling and phage display. Two highly conserved regions (VP1145–152 and VP1159–170) were identified among different FMDV serotypes. The coding regions of these two epitopes were fused separately to the T7 genome and displayed on the phage particles. Interestingly, chimeric phage displaying the VP1159–170 epitope demonstrated a higher antigenicity than that displaying the VP1131–170 epitope. By contrast, phage T7 displaying the VP1145–152 epitope did not react significantly with the anti-FMDV antibodies in vaccinated bovine sera. This study has successfully identified a smaller functional epitope, VP1159–170, located at the C-terminal end of the structural VP1 protein. The phage T7 displaying this shorter epitope is a promising diagnostic reagent to detect anti-FMDV antibodies in vaccinated animals.


Diagnostic reagent ELISA Foot-and-mouth disease Phage display VP1 epitope 



The authors thank Dr. Baljit Singh (Universiti Putra Malaysia) for technical assistance in collection of bovine sera and J.Y. Chia for technical assistance in homology modelling.

Funding information

C.L.W. is supported by MyPhD under the MyBrain15 programme from the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. This study was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Malaysia (Grant no: 05-01-04-SF1149).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Wong CL declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yong CY declares that he has no conflict of interest. Muhamad A declares that she has no conflict of interest. Syahir A declares that he has no conflict of interest. Omar AR declares that he has no conflict of interest. Sieo CC declares that she has no conflict of interest. Tan WS declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8921_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (529 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 528 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan Loo Wong
    • 1
  • Chean Yeah Yong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Azira Muhamad
    • 3
  • Amir Syahir
    • 4
  • Abdul Rahman Omar
    • 2
  • Chin Chin Sieo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wen Siang Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, Institute of BiosciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Malaysia Genome Institute, National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia, Ministry of Science, Technology and InnovationKajangMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia

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