An indirect haemagglutination (IHA) test was used for the rapid assay of antibody to bovine respiratory syncytial virus. Antigens for the sensitisation of formalised tanned erythrocytes were prepared by treatment of virus infected cells with non-ionic detergent. A close serological relationship was shown by the IHA test between the strain of bovine respiratory syncytial virus used and the A2 strain of human respiratory syncytial virus. The IHA test was sensitive and reproducible. A linear correlation was demonstrated between antibody titres obtained by the IHA test and the serum neutralisation test. Titres obtained by the IHA test were approximately 60 times greater than serum neutralisation titres. Serum samples from 803 two-year-old heifers in 48 herds in England were examined by the IHA test. Ninety-four per cent of the animals had antibody to respiratory syncytial virus. Examination of paired serum samples from outbreaks of respiratory disease by the IHA test showed that respiratory syncytial virus was associated with seven out of 15 outbreaks.
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