An agar gel enzyme assay (AGEA) was developed for the detection of antibodies to Salmonella enteritidis (SE). The assay was based on the ability of antibodies to diffuse through an agar gel and react with antigen coated on a polystyrene surface. The antigen-antibody reaction was then made visible by applying an enzyme-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin and the addition, subsequently, of a substrate-containing gel. The color change in circular zones was taken as the indication for the presence of antibodies. The present investigation reports identification of an antigen specific for SE and its use in the development of a relatively simple AGEA procedure. The results of AGEA were compared with those of conventional microagglutination (MA) test and serum plate (SP) test. The percentage agreement between MA and AGEA in positive serum sample was found to be 94.4%, and in negative serum samples it was found to be 88.8%. The present results suggest that the AGEA could be a very useful screening test for the detection of SE antibodies because the assay is inexpensive, specific and simple to perform without much equipment, and give results within a 3-hr period.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Southeast Poultry and Egg Association and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
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