An indirect ELISA has been developed to detect Salmonella typhimurium antibodies in chicken sera, using whole bacterial cell protein, flagellar protein or lipopolysaccharide as antigens. In experimental infections high concentrations of S typhimurium-specific IgG persisted after the faecal excretion of S typhimurium had ceased, whereas the specific IgM response was transitory. Some uninfected chickens placed in contact with experimentally infected birds developed high IgG titres in the absence of detectable faecal excretion. Other S typhimurium strains, which varied in their invasive abilities, also induced high titres of IgG. The ELISA allowed chickens infected experimentally with S typhimurium to be differentiated from chickens infected with 10 other serotypes, including S enteritidis. The use of whole blood in place of serum in the ELISA reduced the titres slightly. The storage of serum dried on to filter paper strips for four weeks produced little change in ELISA antibody titre, and the treatment of such strips with phenol or chloroform vapour had little or no effect on the antibody titre.
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