Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research

Evaluation of a commercial Erns-capture ELISA for detection of BVDV in routine diagnostic cattle serum samples

Jaruwan Kampa12*, Karl Ståhl34, Lena HM Renström4 and Stefan Alenius1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU), SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden

2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Khon Kaen University, 40002, Thailand

3 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, SLU, SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden

4 National Veterinary Institute (SVA), SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden

For all author emails, please log on.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2007, 49:7  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-49-7

Published: 13 March 2007



Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an important pathogen in cattle. The ability of the virus to cross the placenta during early pregnancy can result in the birth of persistently infected (PI) calves. These calves shed the virus during their entire lifespan and are the key transmitters of infection. Consequently, identification (and subsequent removal) of PI animals is necessary to rapidly clear infected herds from the virus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of a commercial Erns-capture ELISA, in comparison to the indirect immunoperoxidase test (IPX), for routine diagnostic detection of BVDV within a control programme. In addition, the effect of passive immunity and heat-inactivation of the samples on the performance of the ELISA was studied.


In the process of virus clearance within the Swedish BVDV control programme, all calves born in infected herds are tested for virus and antibodies. From such samples, sent in for routine diagnostics to SVA, we selected 220 sera collected from 32 beef herds and 29 dairy herds. All sera were tested for BVDV antigen using the Erns ELISA, and the results were compared to the results from the IPX used within the routine diagnostics.


All 130 samples categorized as virus negative by IPX were tested negative in the ELISA, and all 90 samples categorized as virus positive were tested positive, i.e. the relative sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 100% in relation to IPX, and the agreement between the tests was perfect.


We can conclude that the Erns ELISA is a valid alternative that has several advantages compared to IPX. Our results clearly demonstrate that it performs well under Swedish conditions, and that its performance is comparable with the IPX test. It is highly sensitive and specific, can be used for testing of heat-inactivated samples, precolostral testing, and probably to detect PI animals at an earlier age than the IPX.