Woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) is closely related to the human hepatitis B virus (HBV) and infection of woodchucks with WHV creates a useful model for studies of immunity, pathogenesis and therapy of HBV infection. To increase the usefulness of this model, monoclonal antibodies were raised to woodchuck hepatitis surface antigen (WHsAg) and one of these antibodies was used to purify the antigen by affinity chromatography from serum, a simpler and quicker method of purification than the current ultracentrifugation methods. The bands found by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electophoresis of WHsAg were the major 25 and 29 kilodalton (kDa) bands and a triplet of 45, 51 and 55 kDa which are thought to be the glycosylated and unglycosylated middle and large WHsAg. Both the antibody and the antigen are valuable reagents for the study of WHV infection.
- Affinity chromatograpy