An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed and evaluated to detect equine antisperm antibodies (ASA) in horse serum. Six maiden mares between 12 and 18 mo of age were immunized with stallion sperm cells (SC group, n=2), seminal plasma (SP group, n=2), or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) as a control (C group, n=2). Horses received a second injection of the same antigen 2 wk after the first. Blood was collected weekly for 10 wk after initial immunization and again at Week 15. Serum ASA levels (IgG and IgA) were measured by ELISA using two assay systems, one containing stallion SC as the plate antigen and another containing SP. In horses immunized with SC, peak IgG levels were detected by ELISA during Wk 2 and 3 after first injection using either plate antigen. The antibody levels persisted through Week 5 and then slowly declined until Week 15. Horses immunized with SP had IgG levels that did not differ from control horses using either ELISA plate antigen. The only significant elevation in serum IgA ASA occured during Week 5 after initial immunization and only in mares immunized with SC as detected by ELISA using SC as the plate antigen. Attachment of ASA to stallion spermatozoa was confirmed by an indirect immunofluorescence assay.
- antisperm antibodies