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Vet Microbiol. 1992 Feb;30(2-3):99-112.

Relationship between the anti-FMD virus antibody reaction as measured by different assays, and protection in vivo against challenge infection.

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Institut für Viruskrankheiten und Immunoprophylaxe, Basel, Switzerland.


The antibody response of cattle after vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus was monitored using the serum neutralization test (SNT), the sandwich ELISA, liquid-phase ELISA, sandwich competition ELISA, liquid-phase competition ELISA, and the liquid-phase sandwich competition (blocking) ELISA. The competition ELISAs (in particular the "blocking" ELISA) were the most effective at detecting reactivity in these cattle sera. However, 95% of negative sera also competed in the most sensitive ELISA (the "blocking" ELISA) to titres of 1:32 (4% of the sera competed to a titre of 1:128). Comparisons between the different ELISAs, and between these ELISAs and the SNT, demonstrated that the tests were not measuring exactly the same reaction of antibody with FMD virus. With respect to the capacity of animals to resist FMD virus challenge, neither the SNT nor the competition ELISAs were consistently able to identify such animals. The anti-FMD virus antibody titres obtained could be classified into three zones; the "white zone" wherein antibody titres were high and donor animals likely to be protected; the "black zone" wherein antibody titres were low and donor animals likely to be susceptible to infection; the "grey zone" wherein the antibody titres were intermediary and no interpretation could be made with respect to protection. Assays such as ELISA and SNT cannot and do not measure immunological protection; they are a measure of antibody responses and nothing more, and should be interpreted in terms of the "three zone" phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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