Use of a blocking ELISA for antibodies to equine influenza virus as a test to distinguish between naturally infected and vaccinated horses: proof of concept studies



An important consideration in the selection of a vaccine during the Australian equine influenza (EI) outbreak in 2007 was the ability to differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA). A blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (bELISA) targeted for the nucleoprotein of influenza A viruses was developed to differentiate between naturally infected horses and horses vaccinated with the ProteqFlu® vaccine, which only induces a response to viral haemagglutinin. This bELISA assay met the DIVA requirements and was used extensively during the EI control and eradication programs and ‘proof of freedom’ testing.