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Validation and evaluation of a commercially available ELISA for the detection of antibodies specific to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (bovine pestivirus)

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the performance of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies specific to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) with a virus neutralisation test (VNT) and agarose gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test.

Design

A total of 125 cattle serum samples were tested by a commercially available ELISA for antibodies specific to BVDV and by a VNT as the reference standard. A comparison between AGID and ELISA for detection of BVDV antibodies was also carried out, using 1182 serum samples from unvaccinated South Australian cattle.

Methods

Two-graph receiver operating characteristics (TG-ROC) analysis was used to confirm that the manufacturer's recommended cut-off value for the ELISA was appropriate. Two-by-two tables were constructed to analyse the concordance of serological results among the three assays. McNemar tests were used to assess the agreement among serological tests.

Results and conclusions

Using the manufacturer's cut-off threshold, supported by TG-ROC analysis, the ELISA's sensitivity and specificity were calculated to be 96.7% and 97.1%, respectively, compared with the VNT. Compared with AGID, ELISA with specific BVDV antibodies may be more sensitive and detect 5.8% more samples than AGID. McNemar test also showed a significant difference (P < 0.001) between AGID and ELISA.

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