Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Julia Hilliard, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Roberta Attanasio, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Barbara Baumstark, Ph.D.


B virus diagnosis presents a challenge largely complicated by the asymptomatic infection of rhesus macaques, and extremely pathogenic fatal infections in humans. Humoral detection of antibodies is generally performed using whole virus antigen for which preparation requires strict biosafety measures and specialized BSL-4 facilities. As an alternative to utilizing B virus antigen, we describe the production of a truncated form of B virus envelope glycoprotein D, gD 287, in a baculovirus expression system, and evaluate its diagnostic potential as an antigen in recombinant ELISA. After purification and characterization, gD 287 was tested using 22 negative and 72 positive macaque sera samples previously classified using the traditional method. We find that sensitivity and specificity of the recombinant ELISA are dependent on antibody titer of tested serum and gD 287 shows good to excellent predictive potential for identification of positive sera with titers higher than 500.


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