Michiel M. Harmsen

Learn More
When the heterologous proteins thaumatin and bovine prochymosin are produced in yeast cells as a fusion with the yeast invertase secretory signal peptide, less than 2% of the product is secreted in a biologically active form into the medium. The remainder accumulates intracellularly in a misfolded conformation. We investigated whether this poor secretion(More)
In addition to conventional antibodies (Abs), camelids possess Abs consisting of only heavy chains. The variable domain of such a heavy-chain Ab (VHH) is fully capable of antigen (Ag) binding. Earlier analysis of 47 VHHs showed sequence features unique to VHH domains. These include the presence of characteristic amino acid substitutions in positions which,(More)
Camelids produce functional antibodies devoid of light chains of which the single N-terminal domain is fully capable of antigen binding. These single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs or Nanobodies®) have several advantages for biotechnological applications. They are well expressed in microorganisms and have a high stability and solubility. Furthermore, they(More)
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease that occasionally causes outbreaks in Europe. There is a need for therapies that provide rapid protection against FMD in outbreak situations. We aim to provide such rapid protection by passive immunization with llama single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs). Twenty-four VHHs binding serotype O FMDV(More)
A diagnostic ELISA with recombinant Fasciola hepatica cathepsin L-like protease as antigen was developed to detect antibodies against F. hepatica in sheep and cattle. The recombinant cathepsin L-like protease was generated by functional expression of the cDNA from adult stage F. hepatica flukes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specificity and sensitivity of the(More)
Oral administration of polyclonal antibodies directed against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) F4 fimbriae is used to protect against piglet post-weaning diarrhoea. For cost reasons, we aim to replace these polyclonal antibodies by recombinant llama single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs) that can be produced efficiently in microorganisms. Six F4(More)
The therapeutic parenteral application of llama single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs) is hampered by their small size, resulting in a fast elimination from the body. Here we describe a method to increase the serum half-life of VHHs in pigs by fusion to another VHH binding to porcine immunoglobulin G (pIgG). We isolated 19 pIgG-binding VHHs from an(More)
Antigen specific llama VHH antibody fragments were compared to antigen specific mouse monoclonal antibodies with respect to specificity, affinity and stability. The llama VHH antibody fragments and the mouse monoclonal antibodies investigated were shown to be highly specific for the protein antigen hCG or the hapten antigen RR-6. The affinity of the(More)
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals that occasionally causes outbreaks in Europe. We aim to develop an immunotherapy that confers rapid protection against FMD in outbreak situations. For this purpose, we previously isolated llama single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs) binding to FMDV or porcine immunoglobulin(More)
Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells are currently considered for influenza vaccine manufacturing. A drawback of these cells is their anchorage dependent growth, which greatly complicates process scale-up. In this paper a novel MDCK cell line (MDCK-SFS) is described that grows efficiently in suspension and retained high expression levels of both α-2,6 and(More)