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Differentiation of Antibodies against Selected Simbu Serogroup Viruses by a Glycoprotein Gc-Based Triplex ELISA

The Simbu serogroup of orthobunyaviruses includes several pathogens of veterinary importance, among them Schmallenberg virus (SBV), Akabane virus (AKAV) and Shuni virus (SHUV). They infect predominantly ruminants and induce severe congenital malformation. In adult animals, the intra vitam diagnostics by direct virus detection is limited to only a few days due to a short-lived viremia. For surveillance purposes the testing for specific antibodies is a superior approach. However, the serological differentiation is hampered by a considerable extent of cross-reactivity, as viruses were assigned into this serogroup based on antigenic relatedness. Here, we established a glycoprotein Gc-based triplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection and differentiation of antibodies against SBV, AKAV, and SHUV. A total of 477 negative samples of various ruminant species, 238 samples positive for SBV-antibodies, 36 positive for AKAV-antibodies and 53 SHUV antibody-positive samples were tested in comparison to neutralization tests. For the newly developed ELISA, overall diagnostic specificities of 84.56%, 94.68% and 89.39% and sensitivities of 89.08%, 69.44% and 84.91% were calculated for SBV, AKAV and SHUV, respectively, with only slight effects of serological cross-reactivity on the diagnostic specificity. Thus, this test system could be used for serological screening in suspected populations or as additional tool during outbreak investigations.



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