Investigations using a liquid-phase blocking sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the measurement of antibodies against foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) in sera from sheep and from cattle are reported, and results compared with those obtained by virus neutralization (VN) tests.
Serum antibody titres in sheep after primary vaccination and in cattle challenged with a natural aerosol after vaccination were similar by ELISA and VN. However, the antibody levels detected in sera of cattle during early infection and of vaccinated cattle after intradermolingual challenge were clearly greater by ELISA than by VN.
The ELISA titres in cattle sera following synthetic peptide vaccination indicated some relationship to protection and were clearly different from those recorded by VN. On the other hand, the antibody levels following conventional vaccination showed that ELISA and VN titres in cattle sera were related to protection. Although there was a good agreement between the ELISA antibody titre and protection for the four vaccines used, by VN the titre which afforded protection varied depending on the vaccine used.
The ELISA was considered therefore to be more reliable than the VN and may prove useful for evaluating the immunological response of animals following infection and following vaccination.