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COMPETITIVE ELISAs for the detection of antibodies to bluetongue virus (BTV) are well established and widely available (World Organization for Animal Health [WHO] 2009). Recently, sandwich (double antigen) ELISAs have been introduced by two companies. These ELISAs can detect the antibody response to a BTV infection earlier than competitive tests, and are highly sensitive for vaccine-induced antibodies (Eschbaumer and others 2009, Oura and others 2009). Their dependence on IgM (Anon 2010), however, might compromise their sensitivity after its peak early in infection. This short communication describes a study to investigate the ability of sandwich ELISAs to detect antibodies to bluetongue in experimentally infected animals.
For this study, 12 cattle, 10 sheep, three alpacas and three llamas were experimentally infected with BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8). All animal experiments were notified to the competent state authority. Whole blood and serum samples were taken at regular intervals after infection. BTV RNA in blood was detected by real-time RT-PCR (Hoffmann and others 2009), and Vero cells were used for virus isolation. Serum samples were analysed with a commercially available competitive ELISA (Bluetongue Virus Antibody Test …