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Development, evaluation, and laboratory validation of immunoassays for the diagnosis of equine infectious anemia (EIA) using recombinant protein produced from a synthetic p26 gene of EIA virus.

  • Singha, Harisankar
  • Goyal, Sachin K
  • Malik, Praveen
  • Khurana, Sandip K
  • Singh, Raj K
Published Article
Indian journal of virology : an official organ of Indian Virological Society
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2013
DOI: 10.1007/s13337-013-0149-9
PMID: 24426297


Equine infectious anemia (EIA)-a retroviral disease caused by equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV)-is a chronic, debilitating disease of horses, mules, and donkeys. EIAV infection has been reported worldwide and is recognized as pathogen of significant economic importance to the horse industry. This disease falls under regulatory control program in many countries including India. Control of EIA is based on identification of inapparent carriers by detection of antibodies to EIAV in serologic tests and "Stamping Out" policy. The current internationally accepted test for diagnosis of EIA is the agar gel immune-diffusion test (AGID), which detects antibodies to the major gag gene (p26) product. The objective of this study was to develop recombinant p26 based in-house immunoassays [enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and AGID] for EIA diagnosis. The synthetic p26 gene of EIAV was expressed in Escherichia coli and diagnostic potential of recombinant p26 protein were evaluated in ELISA and AGID on 7,150 and 1,200 equine serum samples, respectively, and compared with commercial standard AGID kit. The relative sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed ELISA were 100 and 98.6 %, respectively. Whereas, relative sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed AGID were in complete agreement in respect to commercial AGID kit. Here, we have reported the validation of an ELISA and AGID on large number of equine serum samples using recombinant p26 protein produced from synthetic gene which does not require handling of pathogenic EIAV. Since the indigenously developed reagents would be economical than commercial diagnostic kit, the rp26 based-immunoassays could be adopted for the sero-diagnosis and control of EIA in India.

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