• Chicken RCP;
  • contraception;
  • minivaccines;
  • peptides

PROBLEM: Earlier studies have demonstrated that antibodies directed towards the N-terminal (residues 10–17) and C-terminal (residues 200–207) regions on chicken riboflavin carrier protein (RCP; 219 AA) are effective in pregnancy termination in rodents and sub-human primates. In the present study, the immunocontraceptive potential of three additional immunodominant sequences comprising of residues 33–49, 64–83 and 130–147 (CYA, CED and CGE peptides, respectively) of chicken RCP was investigated. METHOD OF STUDY: The three antigenic peptides were synthesized by using Fmoc chemistry. Oligoclonal antibodies were generated in rabbits. Bioneutralizing capacity of these peptides was assessed by passive and active immunoneutralization studies. RESULTS: All the three peptides-specific antisera recognized their cognate epitopes on native RCP. When the affinity purified peptide IgG were administered on three consecutive days to pregnant rats (on days 10, 11 and 12), it was observed that the rats injected with CED and CGE-IgG failed to deliver any pups whereas the animals which received CYA IgG delivered normal pups. Active immunization of fertile female rats with CED or CGE peptide conferred protection from pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the presence of two additional stretches in chicken RCP which can serve as mini-vaccines.