Biotechnology and applied biochemistry

Characterization of different strains of poliovirus and influenza virus by differential scanning calorimetry.

PMID 15377284


Vaccines against poliomyelitis and influenza contain inactivated forms of poliovirus and influenza virus. These antigens are generated on an industrial scale from the purified active viruses that have been analysed in this study by DSC (differential scanning calorimetry). Multiple unfolding transitions are seen for influenza virus A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1), A/Panama/2007/99 (H3N2) and B/Shangdong/7/97. These data, combined with previously reported data on other influenza viruses, indicates that each influenza virus strain has a characteristic unfolding behaviour. Only minor changes were seen in the thermogram of betaPL (beta-propiolactone)-inactivated influenza virus, which is consistent with the proposition that betaPL reacts mainly with the nucleotide fraction of the virus. We demonstrate that a peak annotation of the thermogram of the native virus is possible using bromelain-treated virus and virosomes. At pH 1.5-2.5, poliovirus of type I unfolds in a single unfolding event with respective Tm (midpoint of protein unfolding transition) values between 34 and 45 degrees C. At pH 2, polioviruses of type II unfold equally in a single event, but, compared with the type I virus, with a Tm value increased by 3.7 degrees C. At neutral pH, the DSC thermogram of type I poliovirus was very 'noisy'. Data obtained offer the possibility of precisely characterizing and identifying different viral strains.