U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



J Vet Diagn Invest 1:324-328 (1989)


Copyright 1989 University of Nebraska


A blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been adapted to detect specific antibodies in bovine sera to respiratory syncytial virus using a horseradish peroxidase-labeled monclonal antibody to the fusion protein of the virus. This assay plus an indirect blocking ELISA and indirect ELISA were used to detect antibodies to the bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) in 159 field-origin bovine sera. Results of these assays were compared with serum antibody titers measured by the serum neutralization (SN) test. Over a 56-day period, the mean neutralization titers and the mean delta absorbance values for the blocking ELISA, on the same sera, showed similar declines. However, the calculated correlation coefficients between mean SN titer and mean absorbance value for the blocking ELISA of the individual sera ranged from -0.2 to -0.5 depending on the source of sera. Similar values were obtained whether using crude or purified viral antigen in the assays. Corresponding calculated correlation coefficients were generally higher for the indirect blocking ELISA or indirect ELISA than for the blocking ELISA. The blocking ELISA was between 70 and 64% as sensitive as the serum neutralization test with a specificity of 100 or 90% using the crude and purified viral antigen, respectively. The indirect blocking ELISA and indirect ELISA had similar calculated sensitivities and specificities. The blocking ELISA was faster to run than either of the other ELISA’s or the neutralization test. Further, nonspecific background absorbance was obviated because the blocking ELISA detects antibodies to 1 specific viral protein, the fusion protein. These studies suggest that the blocking ELISA should be useful as a serological test for BRSV antibodies.