Measuring bovine viral diarrhea virus vaccine response: using a commercially available ELISA as a surrogate for serum neutralization assays. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetic selection in livestock offers the opportunity to improve bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) vaccine response, but first we must define how vaccine response should be measured. For measuring humoral vaccine response, serum neutralization (SN) measures antibodies that can neutralize BVDV, but relative to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is time consuming, technically demanding, and expensive. The ELISA, however, measures total BVDV-specific antibodies, regardless of whether the antibodies can neutralize BVDV. Our objective was to test whether a commercially available BVDV antibody ELISA could be used as a surrogate (or indicator trait) for neutralizing antibodies as measured by SN. Angus and Angus-cross calves (n=193) from two South Dakota research herds were vaccinated for BVDV-1 and BVDV-2. Sera and plasma samples (n=406) were collected from these calves at the time of vaccination and post-vaccination (20-72 days post-vaccination). The BVDV-specific antibody concentration was measured on each serum and plasma sample by (1) a commercially available total antibody ELISA, (2) BVDV-1 SN, and (3) BVDV-2 SN. Correlation between the ELISA and SN tests was estimated with a Spearman correlation coefficient. Higher BVDV ELISA sample-to-positive (S/P) ratios were positively correlated with higher BVDV-1 (=0.809) and BVDV-2 (=0.638) SN titers (P<0.0001), although the relationship was weaker when SN titers were <1:64. Higher BVDV-1 SN titers were also positively correlated with higher BVDV-2 SN titers (=0.708; P<0.0001). The correlation between ELISA S/P ratios and SN titers was lower when calves were 2 months of age (=0.344-0.566). Our results suggest that increased ELISA S/P ratios were associated with higher SN titers. We conclude that this BVDV antibody ELISA can be used as a surrogate for BVDV-1 and -2 SN titers when investigating genetic determinants of vaccine response, as long as samples are collected at 2 months of age or older.

published proceedings

  • Vaccine

author list (cited authors)

  • Gonda, M. G., Fang, X., Perry, G. A., & Maltecca, C.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Gonda, MG||Fang, X||Perry, GA||Maltecca, C

publication date

  • January 2012