Article Text

Development and application of an ELISA for detecting antibodies to Salmonella enteritidis in chicken flocks
  1. RA Nicholas and
  2. GA Cullen
  1. Poultry Department, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, Surrey.

Abstract

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were developed for the detection of IgG antibody to Salmonella enteritidis in poultry flocks. A lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and heat-extracted (HE) antigen for use in the ELISA were evaluated together with the rapid slide test (RST), microagglutination test (MT) and the microantiglobulin (MAG) test. In experimentally infected specific pathogen free chickens, good correlation was seen between all tests although, generally, the MT and MAG detected antibody earlier and titres peaked earlier than the ELISAs. The LPS antigen detected antibody earlier than the HE antigen but the latter gave higher titres in the later stages of infection. Cross reactions were seen between S enteritidis and S typhimurium in the ELISAs although homologous reactions were always much higher. Antisera to S montevideo or S senftenberg gave weak positive reactions in both S enteritidis ELISAs. Serological and bacteriological examinations of representative samples from two commercial chicken flocks were carried out. In flock A the HE-ELISA and MAG test detected antibody in nearly all birds. The LPS-ELISA detected antibody in over 60 per cent of birds, while the MT and RST detected few seropositive birds. The whole blood test using the stained S pullorum antigen on the farm detected antibody in just under 25 per cent of the birds. S enteritidis was isolated from the organs of 25 per cent of the birds. All birds in flock B were seronegative by all tests; no salmonellae were isolated from the organs of these birds.

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