Suitability of individual and bulk milk samples to investigate the humoral immune response to lumpy skin disease vaccination by ELISA
BACKGROUND:The detection of antibodies against capripoxvirus has become easier with a commercially available ELISA validated for serum and plasma. In order to explore its suitability for immunological investigations on alternative samples, this study targeted milk as sample matrix available through non-invasive sampling. METHODS:Samples for this study were collected from dairy cows vaccinated against LSD in an area without reported LSD virus circulation. Paired serum and milk (individual and bulk) samples were tested by ELISA without and with modifications of the sample incubation time for the milk samples. For the evaluation of the test specificity, 352 milk samples from a milk repository in Germany were used as negative control. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed for determination of the Youden index and determination of the most suitable cut-off value for maximum specificity. RESULTS:From 154 analyzed serum samples from Serbia, 75 were detected as positive in the ELISA. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA test for milk samples reached values of 88 to 91% using Youden criteria. A cut-off of 10 was determined aiming for maximum specificity. This cut-off value was used for further analysis. Using the protocol for serum, out of 154 milk samples, 38 were detected as positive, number of positive detected milk samples increase up to 48 with modified protocol. Milk samples from Germany reacted negative, except two samples that had borderline results using modified protocol. Significant statistical difference (p < 0.05) was observed between two incubation protocols. The detection of LSD-specific antibodies from bulk milk samples (pools of 2-10 individuals) came along with a reduced sensitivity over the sample of individual animals. CONCLUSIONS:Results show that the detection of capripoxvirus specific antibodies in milk samples using the commercially available ELISA from IDvet is feasible and can represent a helpful tool for LSDV monitoring programs.