Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238848

Title: Evaluation of a commercial bELISA serologic assay for avian influenza virus detection in wild birds

item BROWN, JUSTIN - University Of Georgia
item STALLKNECHT, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item LUTTRELL, M. PAGE - University Of Georgia
item BERGHAUS, ROY - University Of Georgia
item Swayne, David

Submitted to: International Symposium on Avian Influenza
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2009
Publication Date: 4/5/2009
Citation: Brown, J.D., Stallknecht, D., Luttrell, M., Berghaus, R.D., Swayne, D.E. 2009. Evaluation of a commercial bELISA serologic assay for avian influenza virus detection in wild birds [abstract]. Abstracts of the 7th International Symposium on Avian Influenza, April 5-8, 2009, Athens, Georgia. p. 24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Avian influenza (AI) virus surveillance in wild birds is predominately dependent on diagnostic assays that identify the virus, including reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and virus isolation. A sensitive and specific assay to detect AI virus antibodies would complement existing surveillance strategies and has the potential to provide a cost efficient and rapid approach to identify wild bird species involved in AI epidemiology. To evaluate the efficacy of a commercial blocking ELISA (bELISA) and the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) tests for detection of antibodies to AI virus in wild birds, we tested 281 serum samples from 27 avian species experimentally infected with AI viruses. Included in these samples were 178 samples from birds with confirmed AI infections (122 with low pathogenic avian influenza viruses and 56 with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses) and 103 samples from uninfected, negative control birds. Additionally, we have tested 1,932 field serum samples collected from 52 wild bird species representing 8 taxonomic orders with the AGID and the bELISA tests. Based on the experimental samples, the sensitivities of the bELISA and AGID assays were 0.820 and 0.674, respectively. Both tests had an estimated specificity of 1.00. Consistent with the experimental findings, the sensitivity of the bELISA on field samples was greater or equal to the AGID sensitivity for all species tested. The results of this study indicate that the bELISA is a more sensitive serologic test than the AGID for detecting prior AI infection in wild birds. The results discussed herein will provide real field examples to demonstrate the potential utility of the bELISA or other serologic tests for AI surveillance in wild birds.