Diagnosis of bovine viral diarrhea virus infection using monoclonal antibodies


South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings 57007.

The monoclonal antibody (MAb) D89 against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) was used in conjunction with fluorescein-conjugated anti-mouse immunoglobulin in an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) procedure on frozen tissue sections and cell culture. During the 2-year study, BVDV was isolated from specimens submitted in 460 cases. The D89 Mab detected all but 2 BVDV isolates, both cytopathic. In 316 of the cases in which BVD virus was detected by IFA, specimens were inoculated on bovine turbinate cells and examined for BVDV antigens at 3-5, 10, and 20 days postinoculation. The BVDV was detected in 238/316 cases (75%) after 3-5 days incubation. The remainder were not detected until 10 or 20 days postinoculation. Virus isolation was enhanced in the early test if plates were centrifuged at the time of inoculation. Results suggest that D89 monoclonal antibody is a suitable diagnostic reagent for the detection of BVDV isolated from diagnostic specimens. The D89 MAb can be used for the detection of BVDV in both cell culture and tissues. Combination of D89 with another BVDV MAb (C17) did not improve the ability to detect BVDV in tissues compared to using D89 only, and the combined Mab’s resulted in an increase in nonspecific fluorescence when used on tissues. Although pooling of different BVDV monoclonal antibodies may be necessary to detect all strains of BVDV in cell culture, pooling should be used with caution on tissues. Early detection of BVDV in cell culture by this IFA procedure permits faster confirmation of BVDV diagnosis when compared to the usual routine testing for noncytopathic BVDV at termination of first passage in cell culture.


Vickers ML, Minocha HC: J Vet Diagn Invest 2: 300-302, 1990.