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Carmina Gallardo, Ana Luísa Reis, Glayds Kalema-Zikusoka, Joana Malta, Alejandro Soler, Esther Blanco, R. M.E. Parkhouse, and Alexandre Leitá

African swine fever (ASF) is an infectious and economically important disease of domestic pigs. There is no vaccine and so reliable diagnosis is essential for control strategies. The performance of four recombinant ASFV protein (pK205R, pB602L, p104R and p54) based ELISAs was evaluated with European porcine field sera, established by OIE-approved tests as ASF negatives (119) and ASF positives (80). The {kappa} values show almost perfect agreement between the results of the gold standard (immunobloting) and the results observed with the p54-ELISA ({kappa}=0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90 to 0.99) and with pK205R-ELISA or pB602L-ELISA ({kappa}=0.92, 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.97). With the pA104R-ELISA there was a substantial to almost perfect agreement ({kappa}=0.81, 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.89). Similar results were observed for OIE-ELISA ({kappa}=0.89, 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.95). Importantly, antibodies against these proteins are detectable early after infection of domestic pigs. Preliminary testing of West African (9 positive and 17 negative) sera showed identical results for the recombinant protein-based ELISA and OIE approved tests. In contrast, there was a high specificity but a surprisingly low sensitivity with East African sera (7 positive, 342 negative). With poorly preserved sera only p104R-ELISA showed a significant reduction in sensitivity when compared to OIE-ELISA. Finally, these recombinant proteins also detected antibodies in the sera of the majority of infected warthogs. Thus, the recombinant ASFV proteins p54, pB602L and pK205R provide sensitive and specific targets to detect antibodies in European and West African domestic pigs and in warthogs.

Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, doi:10.1128/CVI.00408-08

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