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Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Dec;111(3):547-57.

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of antibody to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus in the sera of livestock and wild vertebrates.

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National Institute for Virology, University of the Witwatersrand, Sandringham, South Africa.


IgM antibody response to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus was monitored in experimentally infected sheep and cattle by an IgM capture enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). Specific binding of antigen was detected by a rabbit anti-CCHF horseradish peroxidase conjugate or a sandwich technique with hyperimmune mouse anti-CCHF ascitic fluid and commercially available anti-mouse immunoglobulin peroxidase conjugate. The persistence of IgM antibody activity was found to be of shorter duration than in humans, and this may be a function of the relative lack of susceptibility of these animals to infection with CCHF virus. IgG antibody responses in the sheep could be monitored by sandwich ELISA using commercially available anti-sheep immunoglobulin peroxidase conjugates. Total antibody activity in the sera of experimentally infected sheep, cattle and small mammals could be monitored in a competitive ELISA (CELISA) using rabbit anti-CCHF peroxidase conjugate. The CELISA was applied to the sera of 960 wild vertebrates from a nature reserve in South Africa, and the prevalence of antibody was found to be greatest in large mammals such as rhinoceros, giraffe and buffalo, which are known to be the preferred hosts of the adult tick (Hyalomma) vectors of the virus.

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