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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2000 Sep;12(5):400-5.

Development and application of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of serum antibodies to porcine circovirus type 2.

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  • 1Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK.


We report the development of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) for the detection of antibodies to porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), the agent associated with the recently described postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in pigs. At present, no method has been published describing a c-ELISA for the detection of antibodies to PCV2, and currently employed tests are impractical for use in some laboratories. The assay described here uses a cell culture isolate of porcine circovirus type 2 as antigen and a PCV2-specific monoclonal antibody as the competing reagent. Evaluation of the ELISA was performed by comparison with results obtained using an indirect immunofluorescent test on 484 sera from pig herds in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and the USA and serial bleeds from pigs experimentally infected with porcine circoviruses. The sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA were determined as 99.58% and 97.14%, respectively, at 2 standard deviations (SD) from the mean or 95.81% and 100% at 3 SD from the mean. Using this ELISA, a serologic survey of 461 sera collected from commercial pig herds in Northern Ireland between 1973 and 1999 was undertaken. Analysis of the results of this survey demonstrated that the number of ELISA-positive sera detected in an individual year during this period ranged from 55% to 100%. This c-ELISA has applications for large-scale rapid diagnosis of PCV2 infection in pig populations worldwide and for immunoscreening of sera from other species for antibodies to PCV2.

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