Hitherto, detection of lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV), a C-type retrovirus of turkeys, has proved difficult since no tissue culture or serological assay has been available. Development of serological tests has been hampered by the problems of raising virus-specific antisera. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is reported, using a viral antiserum raised with bromelain-digested virus.
The assay specifically detected purified virus at a concentration of 250 ng/ml or greater. In an experiment to detect virus in plasma from turkeys over a period of 4 weeks following LPDV infection, ELISA results correlated closely with the viral reverse transcriptase activity. Both assays were of similar sensitivity and detected small amounts of virus in high-speed pellets of turkey plasma. Evidence is presented indicating that LPDV-infected or hyperimmunized turkeys do not produce readily detectable circulating viral antibodies. In reciprocal ELISA tests, using antibodies to group-specific antigens of other avian retrovirus groups (avian sarcoma-leukosis (ASLV) and reticuloendotheliosis (REV)) no antigenic cross-reaction was found between LPDV, ASLV and REV.