Sensitivity and specificity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus antibody in cattle


A reliable bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) viral antigen was prepared from BVD virus grown on Madin Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells by solubilizing the virus with detergent MEGA-10 (decanoyl-N-methylglucamide) followed by removal of hydrophobic proteins with Triton X-100 treatment. By these treatments, problems of high background associated with BVD viral antigen in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were eliminated. With this new antigen, an ELISA was adapted to detect bovine serum antibody against BVD virus. The diagnostic specificity of the assay in 403 bovine sera collected from a BVD virus-free herd was 100%; in 296 bovine sera with serum neutralizing antibody titers of greater than or equal to 1:2, 289 sera were ELISA positive (relative sensitivity of 97.6%), two sera gave false negative reactions (0.7%) and five sera gave suspicious reactions (1.7%). These interpretations were based on positive/negative (P/N) ratio readings, i.e. a P/N ratio of less than 1.50, 1.50-1.99 and greater than or equal to 2.00 were interpreted as negative, suspicious and positive reactions, respectively. The ELISA results gave excellent agreement with serum neutralization in detecting both seropositive and seronegative animals (Kappa = 0.994). The ELISA assay was considered to be technically superior to the serum neutralization test for the routine detection of BVD viral antibody in bovine sera.

Cho HJ, Masri SA, Deregt D, Yeo SG, and Thomas EJ. Can J Vet Res. 1991 January; 55(1): 56–59.