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Comparison of agar gel immunodiffusion test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and PCR in diagnostics of enzootic bovine leukosis

Author(s): Malovrh Tadej | Pate M. | Ocepek M. | Krt B.

Journal: Veterinarski Glasnik
ISSN 0350-2457

Volume: 59;
Issue: 3-4;
Start page: 363;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: AGID | diagnostics | ELISA | Enzootic bovine leukosis | PCR

Bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus that induces a chronic infection in cattle. Once infected, cattle remain virus carriers for life and start to show an antibody response within a few weeks after infection. Eradication and control of the disease are based on early diagnostics and segregation of the carriers. The choice of a diagnostic method depends on the eradication programme, money resources and characteristics of the herd to be analysed. The agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test has been the serological test of choice for routine diagnosis of serum samples. Nevertheless, in more recent years, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has replaced the AGID for large scale testing. For this purpose, commercially available BLV-ELISA kits were compared to the AGID and to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method performed with two sets of primers, amplifying env region. The ELISA kit based on the p24 core protein was found to be less specific and served as a screening test. The ELISA kit based on the envelope glycoprotein (gpSI) served as a verification test and gave a good correlation with the AGID test and PCR method. However, ELISA showed a higher sensitivity than AGID. The p24 based ELiSA was useful for screening a large number of samples, whereas gp51 based ELISA, AGID and PCR were more important for detecting the antibody response against the individual BLV-proteins and therefore for verification of the infection with BLV.
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