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Neiker-Tecnalia makes progress in detection and prevention of infection by visna maedi virus
Date:1/19/2011

offspring of seronegative mothers.

ELISA and PCR

The results of this work also indicated that the analysis of blood using commercial ELISA methods for the detection of antibodies enables the reliable detection of VMV infection in adult sheep. However, these methods were not so effective in young animals or when viral load was low. In these cases, PCR, more expensive but able to detect the presence of the virus directly, would enable the detection of those infected animals which had not yet developed sufficient antibodies against the virus.

To verify this hypothesis, serum, blood clots and white blood cells were collected from 25 seronegative animals and 25 seropositive animals, confirmed as such with the ELISA technique. PCR detected the presence of the virus in up to 25 % of the negative ELISA samples and in all the positive ones, demonstrating the better performance of PCR. Especially noteworthy was the ability to detect VMV in blood clots, this representing the first report on the use of PCR protocols for VMV detection based on blood clot DNA. In addition to the higher sensitivity of the test, this novel protocol avoids the need for purifying leucocytes before DNA extraction, and opens a new door for the diagnosis of the infection through blood clot samples.


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