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Prof. Reichel and Colleagues Investigate Serological Tests for the Detection of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus–Specific Antibodies in Sheep Serum

12 January 2018

Prof. Michael Reichel (Chair Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences), together with colleagues from the University of Adelaide, Australia, has investigated three serological tests for the detection of Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in sheep: the agarose gel immunodiffusion (AGID) and 2 commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the detection of BVDV antibodies.

BVD is a highly prevalent disease of cattle and has significant economic impacts on cattle industries, with estimates ranging from US$40,000 to US$100,000 per infected herd per year. Effective control and the eventual eradication of Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) from cattle populations depend on the accurate identification of infected animals, including elimination of infection from possible other host species. Although typically a disease agent of cattle, BVDV is known to infect a wide variety of nonbovine species, including sheep. However, validation of serological tests in these nonbovine species, particularly sheep, is lacking.

Their study found that the AGID and 2 commercial ELISAs have useful performance characteristics for detection of BVDV-specific antibodies in sheep sera. The study analysis showed that all three tests performed with 100% diagnostic specificity, that AGID performed with 95.2% diagnostic sensitivity but suggests diagnostic specificity could be increased to >95% for both ELISAs, if the thresholds were altered to 34.9% inhibition for ELISA-A and 63.5 signal-to-noise ratio for ELISA-B.

Caitlin A. Evans, Sasha R. Lanyon, Michael P. Reichel (2017):
Investigation of AGID and two commercial ELISAs for the detection of Bovine viral diarrhea virus–specific antibodies in sheep serum
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.