The evaluation of five serological assays in determining seroconversion to peste des petits ruminants virus in typical and atypical hosts

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an infectious viral disease, primarily of small ruminants such as sheep and goats, but is also known to infect a wide range of wild and domestic Artiodactyls including African buffalo, gazelle, saiga and camels. The livestock-wildlife interface, where free-ranging animals can interact with captive flocks, is the subject of scrutiny as its role in the maintenance and spread of PPR virus (PPRV) is poorly understood. As seroconversion to PPRV indicates previous infection and/or vaccination, the availability of validated serological tools for use in both typical (sheep and goat) and atypical species is essential to support future disease surveillance and control strategies. The virus neutralisation test (VNT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) have been validated using sera from typical host species. Still, the performance of these assays in detecting antibodies from atypical species remains unclear. We examined a large panel of sera (n = 793) from a range of species from multiple countries (sourced 2015–2022) using three tests: VNT, ID VET N-ELISA and AU-PANVAC H-ELISA. A sub-panel (n = 30) was also distributed to two laboratories and tested using the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) and a pseudotyped virus neutralisation assay (PVNA). We demonstrate a 75.0–88.0% agreement of positive results for detecting PPRV antibodies in sera from typical species between the VNT and commercial ELISAs, however this decreased to 44.4–62.3% in sera from atypical species, with an inter-species variation. The LIPS and PVNA strongly correlate with the VNT and ELISAs for typical species but vary when testing sera from atypical species.

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