A competitive-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for detection of antibodies to the surface envelope (SU) of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) was recently reported (L. M. Herrmann, W. P. Cheevers, T. C. McGuire, D. Scott Adams, M. M. Hutton, W. G. Gavin, and D. P. Knowles, Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. 10:267-271, 2003). The cELISA utilizes CAEV-63 SU captured on microtiter plates using the monoclonal antibody (MAb) F7-299 and measures competitive displacement of binding of the anti-CAEV MAb GPB 74A by goat serum. The present study evaluated the CAEV cELISA for detection of antibodies to ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV) in sheep. Three hundred thirty-two sera were randomly selected from 21,373 sheep sera collected throughout the United States to determine the sensitivity and specificity of cELISA and agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) based on immunoprecipitation (IP) of [35S]methionine-labeled OPPV antigens as a standard of comparison. A positive cELISA test was defined as >20.9 percent inhibition (% I) of MAb 74A binding based on two standard deviations above the mean % I of 191 IP-negative sheep sera. At this cutoff, there were 2 of 141 false-negative sera (98.6% sensitivity) and 6 of 191 false-positive sera (96.9% specificity). Sensitivity and specificity values for IP-monitored AGID were comparable to those for cELISA for 314 of 332 sera with unambiguous AGID results. Concordant results by cELISA and IP resolved 16 of the 18 sera that were indeterminate by AGID. Additional studies evaluated cELISA by using 539 sera from a single OPPV-positive flock. Based on IP of 36 of these sera, there was one false-negative by cELISA among 21 IP-positive sera (95.5% sensitivity) and 0 of 15 false-positives (100% specificity). We conclude that the CAEV cELISA can be applied to detection of OPPV antibodies in sheep with high sensitivity and specificity.
A competitive-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was evaluated for the detection of serum antibodies to the surface envelope (SU) of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) in goats. This assay utilized 96-well microtiter plates containing CAEV-63 SU captured by monoclonal antibody (MAb) F7-299 and measured the competitive displacement of horseradish peroxidase-conjugated MAb GPB 74A binding by undiluted goat sera (F. Özyörük, W. P. Cheevers, G. A. Hullinger, T. C. McGuire, M. Hutton, and D. P. Knowles, Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. 8:44-51, 2001). Two hundred serum samples from goats in the United States were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of cELISA based on the immunoprecipitation (IP) of [35S]methionine-labeled viral antigens as a standard of comparison. A positive cELISA was defined as >33.2% inhibition of MAb 74A binding based on 2 standard deviations above the mean percent inhibition of 140 IP-negative serum samples. At this cutoff value, there were 0 of 60 false-negative sera (100% sensitivity) and 5 of 140 false-positive sera (96.4% specificity). Additional studies utilized IP-monitored cELISA to establish a CAEV-free herd of 1,640 dairy goats.
Because relatively few caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV)-infected animals exhibit clinical signs of illness, efforts to control and eradicate this virus will depend heavily on a sensitive diagnostic test that can be easily carried out. The currently utilized tests are of limited usefulness because of relatively low sensitivity or because of incomplete cross-reactivity of goat sera with heterologous test antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with purified CAEV antigen and biotin-avidin amplification steps was therefore developed and compared with a radioimmunoassay (RIA) against CAEV p28. Of over 500 sera tested, there was 99% concordance between the two tests. On the other hand, 23 of 24 sera obtained from animals with clinical signs of disease that were negative by agar gel immunodiffusion test (with ovine progressive pneumonia virus antigen) were positive by ELISA and RIA. These results suggest that an ELISA with CAEV antigen is superior to the agar gel immunodiffusion test and is easier and faster than an RIA, and therefore may be the method of choice for diagnosing CAEV infection.
Lentivirus infections in small ruminants represent an economic
problem affecting several European countries with important
sheep-breeding industries. Programs for control and eradication of
these infections are being initiated and require reliable screening
assays. This communication describes the construction and evaluation of
a new serological screening enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
for the detection of antibodies to maedi-visna virus (MVV) in sheep and
to caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) in goats. The solid
phase is sensitized with a combination of the major core protein p25 of
MVV produced in Escherichia coli and a peptide derived from
the immunodominant region of the viral transmembrane protein gp46. The
peptide carries an N-terminal biotin residue and is complexed with
streptavidin prior to being coated. The new assay was evaluated with
2,336 sheep serum samples from different European countries with large
differences in the levels of prevalence of MVV infections, and the
results have been compared to those of the standard agar gel
immunodiffusion test. Discrepant samples were analyzed by Western
blotting with viral lysate, and most sera could be classified
unambiguously. The estimated overall sensitivity of the new ELISA was
99.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 98.4 to 99.8%) and the
specificity was 99.3% (95% CI, 98.7 to 99.6%). A limited set of goat
sera (n = 212) was also analyzed, with similar
results. These data indicate that the new assay is a reliable tool that
can be used in control and eradication programs for small ruminant
The sensitivity of the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test for the detection of antibody to caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) was investigated with CAEV or ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV) as the source of antigen. A total of 218 goat serum specimens were tested for anti-CAEV antibody by AGID and immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-labeled CAEV. In comparison with that of immunoprecipitation, the sensitivity of the CAEV AGID test was 0.91, and that of the OPPV AGID test was 0.56. The AGID test with either antigen was 100% specific. The lower sensitivity of the OPPV AGID test in detecting caprine antibody to CAEV indicates that OPPV antigen is of limited value for use in CAEV diagnosis and control programs.
In the framework of the Dutch control program for small ruminant lentiviral (SRLV) infections, too many drawbacks were encountered with respect to serological testing. To improve the quality of testing, five enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and an agar gel immunodiffusion test (AGIDT) were evaluated. The focus was on the sensitivity, specificity, and variances of the commercially available tests. Clear differences were found among the tests in analytical and diagnostic sensitivity and overall diagnostic performance, whereas no significant differences in specificity were found. For serodiagnosis of sheep with clinical symptoms of maedi-visna virus (MVV) (histopathologically confirmed), one ELISA was significantly more sensitive than the other ELISAs and than the AGIDT, while for asymptomatic sheep originating from infected flocks, three ELISAs and the AGIDT demonstrated similar performance. The diagnostic performance appeared to be related to animal species and virus infection (MVV or caprine arthritis encephalitis virus [CAEV]) as well as the phase of infection/progression of disease. Receiver operating characteristic analysis, demonstrating the diagnostic potential of tests irrespective of defined cutoffs, again revealed clear differences between tests with respect to diagnostic performance for detection of antibodies against CAEV or MVV. An indirect ELISA, of which the solid phase is sensitized with a combination of the core protein p27 of MVV produced in Escherichia coli and a peptide derived from the transmembrane protein gp46, appeared to be the test of choice for serodiagnosis of SRLV infections in sheep and goats.
Eight cesarean-derived goat kids were inoculated with caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV), and proliferative responses of their peripheral blood mononuclear cells to mitogens and CAEV antigen were monitored for 9 months. Antibody specific for CAEV was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Five cesarean-derived noninfected goats were tested simultaneously. Significant differences between the infected and control mononuclear cell proliferation reactions to CAEV began 14 days post-inoculation and continued in a fluctuant manner until 134 days post-inoculation. The magnitude of the proliferative reaction steadily increased in infected goats until the end of the experiment at 271 days post-inoculation. Responses to mitogens were not significantly different between infected and control goats. Virus-inoculated goats produced CAEV-specific antibody that reached a maximum level between 49 and 77 days post-inoculation and then declined to lower levels through 271 days post-inoculation. The virus-inoculated goats developed mild but characteristic clinical evidence of caprine arthritis-encephalitis, and CAEV was reisolated from four goats at 286 days post-inoculation. The five control goats developed neither an anti-CAEV immune response nor clinical disease, and CAEV could not be reisolated from them.
Caprine arthritis/encephalitis (CAE) of goats and occasionally sheep are persistent virus infections caused by a lentivirus (CAEV). This viral infection results in arthritis in adult animals and encephalitis in kids. Prognosis for the encephalitic form is normally poor, with substantial economic loss for the farm. In this context an early/fast laboratory diagnosis for CAEV infection could be useful for effective prophylactic action. In this work we performed a quantitative real time PCR designed on the CAEV env gene to detect/quantify in goat/sheep samples, viral RNA or proviral DNA forms of CAEV. This procedure was validated in 15 sheep, experimentally infected with CAEV or with a highly correlated lentivirus (visna maedi, MVV); in addition, a total of 37 clinical goat specimens recruited in CAEV positive herds were analyzed and compared using serological analysis (Elisa and AGID). All samples infected with MVV resulted negative. In sheep experimentally infected with CAEV, proviral DNA was detectable 15 days post infection, whereas the serological methods revealed an indicative positivity after 40-60 days.This method showed a sensitivity of 102 env fragments/PCR) with a linear dynamic range of quantitation from 103 to 107
env fragments/PCR; the R2 correlation coefficient was 0.98. All subjects with a clinical diagnosis for Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis (CAE) resulted CAEV DNA positive.
Caprine arthritis-encephalitis; CAEV; lentivirus; real time PCR; agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID); enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Detection of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) infection in goats is currently limited to serologic testing or cell culture. We developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect CAEV sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), synovial fluid cells (SFC), and milk cells (MC) obtained from infected goats. Results were positive for 18 of 20 PBMC, 8 of 8 MC, and 5 of 5 SFC samples from seropositive goats, whereas 3 of 33 PBMC samples and none of 8 MC or 5 SFC samples from seronegative goats were positive. Two of the PCR-positive and seronegative goats seroconverted upon follow-up testing 2 months later. This PCR assay provides a useful method for detecting CAEV infection in goats.
A lentivirus was isolated from 2 goats in Mexico that were seropositive to caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) by the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test. The lentivirus was identified as CAEV by the observation of giant multinucleated cells (syncytia) in goat synovial membrane (GSM) monolayers co-cultivated with blood mononuclear (BMN) cells from the seropositive goats, and by amplifying a DNA segment of the CAEV gag gene using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. Subsequently, cell supernatants from the GSM cells co-cultivated with BMN cells were used to infect 2 CAEV-seronegative goats. These goats seroconverted to CAEV as determined by the AGID test, and CAEV was re-isolated from these goats. One of the goats developed polyarthritis 8 mo after inoculation. Previous serological surveys indicate that infection with CAEV is prevalent among goats in Mexico. To our knowledge this is the first report of CAEV isolation in Mexico. Because of globalization of markets and increased trading among nations, the rapid identification and reporting of diseases such as CAEV are important to prevent the dissemination of these diseases.
Serological diagnosis of equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV) infections has depended mainly on the agar gel immunodiffusion test (AGIDT). This study documents the presence of EIAV genetic sequences in a number of persistently infected horses and mules whose serums were interpreted as negative/equivocal on AGIDT, but positive on more than one ELISA test and in immunoblot tests. Strategies designed to take advantage of the combined strengths of the ELISA and AGIDT are shown effective in a national surveillance program for EIA in Italy where 17 per cent (25/149) of the equids considered to be infected with EIAV on combined/comparative serological data had reactions in the AGIDT that were interpreted as negative or equivocal. These data document the benefits of using a three-tiered laboratory system for the diagnosis of EIA. Although the ELISA-first strategy introduces some confusing results, the discovery of up to 20 per cent more cases of EIA makes it compelling. In our opinion, it is better and more defensible to find two samples in 1000 with resolvable but falsely positive ELISA tests for EIA than to release two to three horses in 10,000 with falsely negative test results for EIA (the rates seen in the Italian surveillance presented here).
Diagnostics; Disease surveillance; Horses; Infectious diseases; RNA viruses; Virology
Caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV), a naturally occurring lentivirus of goats, causes disease characterized by virus persistence and recurrent arthritis. These studies demonstrate in vitro neutralization of CAEV infectivity by serum from goats infected with CAEV. Serum neutralizing activity was not detectable until 10 to 36 months postinfection, and titers were relatively low (less than or equal to 1:8). Serum neutralization was caused by antibody and was virus specific. Antigenic variants of CAEV were isolated from cell-free joint fluid of arthritic goats 9 to 18 months postinfection. The delayed appearance of neutralizing antibody and the subsequent development of antigenic variants may promote CAEV persistence in vivo and provide a stimulus for recurrent arthritis.
Four immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the gp135 surface envelope glycoprotein (SU) of the 79–63 isolate of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV), referred to as CAEV-63, were characterized and evaluated for their ability to compete with antibody from CAEV-infected goats. Three murine MAbs (MAbs GPB16A, 29A, and 74A) and one caprine MAb (MAb F7-299) were examined. All MAbs reacted in nitrocellulose dot blots with native CAEV-63 SU purified by MAb F7-299 affinity chromatography, whereas none reacted with denatured and reduced SU. All MAbs reacted in Western blots with purified CAEV-63 SU or the SU component of whole-virus lysate following denaturation in the absence of reducing agent, indicating that intramolecular disulfide bonding was essential for epitope integrity. Peptide-N-glycosidase F digestion of SU abolished the reactivities of MAbs 74A and F7-299, whereas treatment of SU with N-acetylneuraminate glycohydrolase (sialidase A) under nonreducing conditions enhanced the reactivities of all MAbs as well as polyclonal goat sera. MAbs 29A and F7-299 were cross-reactive with the SU of an independent strain of CAEV (CAEV-Co). By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the reactivities of horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated MAbs 16A and 29A with homologous CAEV-63 SU were <10% of that of HRP-conjugated MAb 74A. The reactivity of HRP-conjugated MAb 74A was blocked by sera from goats immunized with CAEV-63 SU or infected with CAEV-63. The reactivity of MAb 74A was also blocked by sera from goats infected with a CAEV-Co molecular clone, although MAb 74A did not react with CAEV-Co SU in Western blots. Thus, goats infected with either CAEV-63 or CAEV-Co make antibodies that inhibit binding of MAb 74A to CAEV-63 SU. A competitive-inhibition ELISA based on displacement of MAb 74A reactivity has potential applicability for the serologic diagnosis of CAEV infection.
High titers of antibodies to caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) envelope (Env) glycoproteins are found in infected goats developing a progressive arthritis. In order to identify linear B epitopes of the CAEV Env, which may be involved in the immunopathology of arthritis, we constructed a lambda gt11 Env expression library. By combining library screening with sera from naturally infected Swiss goats with an enzyme immunoassay with overlapping peptides (pepscan), four group-specific epitopes could be precisely defined in the transmembrane envelope proteins: TM1 to TM4, including a conserved structure (TM3) that corresponds to the immunodominant epitope of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and other lentiviruses. A panel of 190 CAEV naturally infected goat serum samples, obtained from animals with defined clinical status, was tested for reactivity to synthetic peptides corresponding to the TM epitopes in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody reactivity to two epitopes was highly associated (TM3, P = 0.002, and TM4, P < 0.001) with the presence of clinically detectable arthritis. Such an association is absent for anti-Gag antibody. Antibodies to the immunodominant structures of the TM glycoprotein could thus have an important role in the immunopathogenic process leading to disease.
We previously reported that infection of goats with caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) tat− proviral DNA or virus results in persistent infection, since the animals seroconverted and direct virus isolation from cultures of blood-derived macrophages was positive. In this study we wanted to determine whether goats injected with CAEV tat− proviral DNA or virus were protected against challenge with the pathogenic homologous virus and to investigate whether CAEV tat− was still pathogenic. All animals injected with CAEV tat− became infected as indicated by seroconversion and virus isolation. Challenge at 8 or 9 months postinfection demonstrated protection in four of four animals injected with CAEV tat− but did not in three of three mock-inoculated challenged goats. Challenge virus was undetectable in the blood macrophages of protected animals during a period of 6 or 10 months postchallenge. In two of four protected animals, however, we were able to detect the challenge wild-type virus by reverse transcriptase PCR on RNA directly extracted from synovial membrane cells surrounding the inoculation site. This result suggests that protection was achieved without complete sterilizing immunity. Animals injected with CAEV tat− and mock challenged developed inflammatory lesions in the joints, although these lesions were not as severe as those in CAEV wild-type-injected goats. These results confirm the dispensable role of Tat in CAEV replication in vivo for the establishment of infection and pathogenesis and demonstrate in another lentivirus infection model the efficacy of live attenuated viruses to induce resistance to superinfection.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from Saanen goats experimentally infected with the lentivirus caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) were evaluated by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase PCR for gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and IL-2 gene expression following in vitro stimulation with purified CAEV gp135 surface protein (SU). Studies examined three goats with chronic arthritis and four clinically asymptomatic goats at 5 years postinfection. SU-responsive IFN-gamma mRNA-positive cells and IL-4 mRNA-positive cells in PBMC from infected goats reflected differences in lymphokine balance associated with disease status. IFN-gamma mRNA-positive cells were dominant in PBMC from asymptomatic goats, whereas SU-responsive IL-4 mRNA-positive cells were dominant in PBMC from goats with arthritis. IL-2 gene expression was not responsive to SU stimulation of PBMC from either asymptomatic or arthritic goats. Lymphokine mRNA profiles in SU-stimulated PBMC were dependent on the presence of CD4+ T lymphocytes. The results indicate that asymptomatic goats have a dominant population of CAEV SU-reactive T-helper 1 (Th1)-like lymphocytes in PBMC whereas goats with clinical arthritis have a dominant population of SU-reactive Th2-like lymphocytes.
The complete surface glycoprotein (SU) nucleotide sequences of three French isolates of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) were determined and compared with those of previously described isolates: three American isolates and one French isolate. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the existence of four distinct and roughly equidistant evolutionary CAEV subtypes. Four conserved and five variable domains were identified in the SU. The fine specificities of antibodies produced against these domains during natural infection were examined using a pepscan analysis. Nine immunogenic segments were delineated throughout the conserved and variable domains of SU, two of them corresponding to conserved immunodominant epitopes. Antigenic determinants which may be involved in the immunopathogenic process induced by CAEV were identified. These results also provide sensitive and specific antigen peptides for the serological detection and differentiation of CAEV and visna/maedi virus infections.
This study evaluated type-specific and cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies induced by immunization with modified surface glycoproteins (SU) of the 63 isolate of caprine arthritis-encephalitis lentivirus (CAEV-63). Epitope mapping of sera from CAEV-infected goats localized immunodominant linear epitopes in the carboxy terminus of SU. Two modified SU (SU-M and SU-T) and wild-type CAEV-63 SU (SU-W) were produced in vaccinia virus and utilized to evaluate the effects of glycosylation or the deletion of immunodominant linear epitopes on neutralizing antibody responses induced by immunization. SU-M contained two N-linked glycosylation sites inserted into the target epitopes by R539S and E542N mutations. SU-T was truncated at 518A, upstream from the target epitopes, by introduction of termination codons at 519Y and 521Y. Six yearling Saanen goats were immunized subcutaneously with 30 μg of SU-W, SU-M, or SU-T in Quil A adjuvant and boosted at 3, 7, and 16 weeks. SU antibody titers determined by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated anamnestic responses after each boost. Wild-type and modified SU-induced type-specific CAEV-63 neutralizing antibodies and cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies against CAEV-Co, a virus isolate closely related to CAEV-63, and CAEV-1g5, an isolate geographically distinct from CAEV-63, were determined. Immunization with SU-T resulted in altered recognition of SU linear epitopes and a 2.8- to 4.6-fold decrease in neutralizing antibody titers against CAEV-63, CAEV-Co, and CAEV-1g5 compared to titers of SU-W-immunized goats. In contrast, immunization with SU-M resulted in reduced recognition of glycosylated epitopes and a 2.4- to 2.7-fold increase in neutralizing antibody titers compared to titers of SU-W-immunized goats. Thus, the glycosylation of linear immunodominant nonneutralization epitopes, but not epitope deletion, is an effective strategy to enhance neutralizing antibody responses by immunization.
A specific and sensitive two-step TaqMan real-time PCR has been developed for rapid diagnosis of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) infection by using a set of specific primers and a TaqMan probe targeting a highly conserved region within the gene encoding the viral capsid protein (CA). The assay successfully detected CAEV proviral DNA in total DNA extracts originating from cell culture, whole blood samples and isolated PBMCs, with a lower detection limit of 102 copies and a linear dynamic range of 105 to 1010 copies/ml. There was no cross-reaction with other animal viruses (e.g., goat pox virus, bovine leukemia virus, bovine mucosal disease virus, swine influenza virus and Nipah virus). When applied in parallel with serological AGID and conventional PCR for detection of CAEV in field samples, this assay exhibited a higher sensitivity than these traditional methods, and 7.8 % of the 308 specimens collected in the Shanxi and Tianjin regions of China from 1993 to 2011 were found to be positive. Thus, the TaqMan qPCR assay provides a fast, specific and sensitive means for detecting CAEV proviral DNA in goat specimens and should be useful for large-scale detection in eradication programs and epidemiological studies.
To define the structure of the caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) env gene and characterize genetic changes which occur during antigenic variation, we sequenced the env genes of CAEV-63 and CAEV-Co, two antigenic variants of CAEV defined by serum neutralization. The deduced primary translation product of the CAEV env gene consists of a 60- to 80-amino-acid signal peptide followed by an amino-terminal surface protein (SU) and a carboxy-terminal transmembrane protein (TM) separated by an Arg-Lys-Lys-Arg cleavage site. The signal peptide cleavage site was verified by amino-terminal amino acid sequencing of native CAEV-63 SU. In addition, immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-labeled CAEV-63 proteins by sera from goats immunized with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the CAEV-63 env gene confirmed that antibodies induced by env-encoded recombinant proteins react specifically with native virion SU and TM. The env genes of CAEV-63 and CAEV-Co encode 28 conserved cysteines and 25 conserved potential N-linked glycosylation sites. Nucleotide sequence variability results in 62 amino acid changes and one deletion within the SU and 34 amino acid changes within the TM.
Toxoplasma immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies were evaluated in an immunosorbent agglutination assay (ISAGA) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine their usefulness in the diagnosis of acute infection with Toxoplasma gondii. IgE antibodies were not detected in serum specimens from otherwise seronegative individuals, individuals with chronic toxoplasma infection, or infants without congenital toxoplasmosis. In contrast, they were detected in pregnant women who seroconverted during gestation (100% by ELISA, 63% by ISAGA), patients with toxoplasmic lymphadenopathy (96% by ELISA, 88% by ISAGA), infants with signs of congenital toxoplasmosis which prompted serologic testing in the postnatal period (92% by ELISA, 67% by ISAGA), children and adults with toxoplasmic chorioretinitis (36% by ELISA, 18% by ISAGA), and adult patients with AIDS and toxoplasmic encephalitis (33% by ELISA, 25% by ISAGA). In many of the serum specimens, the titer of IgE antibodies detected by the ISAGA were close to or at the positive cutoff value. The duration of detectable IgE antibodies in patients with acute infections varied considerably among individuals but showed a trend toward a briefer duration by the ISAGA than by the ELISA. These results reveal that recrudescence of IgE antibodies in patients with reactivated chronic infection (toxoplasmic chorioretinitis and toxoplasmic encephalitis) may be useful diagnostically and that demonstration of toxoplasma IgE antibodies is a useful adjunct to currently available serologic tests for the diagnosis of acute toxoplasma infection and toxoplasmosis.
A caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV)/maedi-visna virus (MVV) indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) was validated with samples from U.S. sheep and by the use of radioimmunoprecipitation as the standard for comparison. The sensitivity and the specificity were 86.0% (±5.8%) and 95.9% (±2.9%), respectively. The iELISA format and phylogenetic differences based on the MVV gag sequence contribute to the reduced sensitivity.
The lentivirus caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) is a pathogen of goats. It is transmitted in milk and causes a persistent infection in goats, which often fail to produce neutralizing antibodies to the virus. Native CAEV particles are remarkably resistant to digestion with proteinase K and are neutralized extremely slowly by immune sera. Our studies showed that the virus particles are heavily sialylated. Studies with highly specific sialyltransferase enzymes identified penultimate carbohydrate linkages typical of O- and N-linked oligosaccharides on the virus and suggested that the virus may be more heavily sialylated on O-linked than on N-linked oligosaccharides. Removal of sialic acids from the virus by neuraminidase treatment did not reduce infectivity of the particles. However, desialylation rendered the virus more susceptible to proteolysis by proteinase K. Desialylation also enhanced the kinetics of neutralization of the virus by goat antibodies. These results suggest that the carbohydrates on the viral surface are important both in protecting viral proteins from digestion by proteases and in protecting the virus from rapid neutralization by antibodies.
Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus (CAEV) is the natural lentivirus of goats, well known for its tropism for macrophages and its inability to cause infection in lymphocytes. The viral genome lacks nef, tat, vpu and vpx coding sequences. To test the hypothesis that when nef is expressed by the viral genome, the virus became toxic for lymphocytes during replication in macrophages, we inserted the SIVsmm PBj14 nef coding sequences into the genome of CAEV thereby generating CAEV-nef. This recombinant virus is not infectious for lymphocytes, but is fully replication competent in goat macrophages in which it constitutively expresses the SIV Nef. We found that goat lymphocytes co-cultured with CAEV-nef-infected macrophages became activated, showing increased expression of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R). Activation correlated with increased proliferation of the cells. Interestingly, a dual effect in terms of apoptosis regulation was observed in exposed goat lymphocytes. Nef was found first to induce a protection of lymphocytes from apoptosis during the first few days following exposure to infected macrophages, but later, it induced increased apoptosis in the activated lymphocytes. This new recombinant virus provides a model to study the functions of Nef in the context of infection of macrophages, but in absence of infection of T lymphocytes and brings new insights into the biological effects of Nef on lymphocytes.
Nef; Apoptosis; Activation; Bystander
A blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (B-ELISA), using two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), was established and compared with the virus neutralization test (VNT) for detecting specific peste-des-petits-ruminants virus (PPRV) antibody in caprine and ovine sera. This technique was developed because VNT, the only available specific serological test for PPRV and the cross-reactive rinderpest virus (RPV), is time-consuming and unaffordable for most laboratories in regions where both peste des petits ruminants and rinderpest occur. The test depends on the blocking of the binding of the MAb to a specific epitope in the presence of positive serum. Test conditions were optimized by using peste-des-petits-ruminants and rinderpest sera that were known to be VNT positive and negative. A blocking format, in which serum is preincubated with a solid-phase PPRV antigen and then incubated with the MAb, yielded levels of sensitivity and specificity superior to those of a competitive format, in which the two reagents are added simultaneously. A threshold value of 45% inhibition, representing the mean for a negative population (n = 277) plus 2.7 standard deviations, was adopted for routine screening. A total of 605 serum samples were screened by B-ELISA and the VNT. The sensitivity and specificity of B-ELISA relative to the VNT were 90.4 and 98.9%, respectively. Of 264 field serum samples tested, 11 (4.2%) could not be assayed by the VNT because of contamination or cytotoxicity; the overall agreement quotient between results of the two tests (n = 253) was 0.91. A high correlation (r>/=0.98) was observed between B-ELISA and the VNT for endpoint titration of sera (n=57). Because B-ELISA proved to be nearlyas sensitive and specific as the VNT while being simpler and more rapid, it would be an adequate substitute for the VNT for assessing herd immune status and for epidemiologic surveillance.