Two distinct serotypes of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) are recognized in chicken and turkey flocks in the United States. Serologic testing of chicken flocks for serotype 1 viruses is routinely performed to monitor disease status and vaccination. Earlier studies indicated that enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test detects antibodies to both serotypes of the virus, while the virus neutralization (VN) test is serotype specific. It is useful to evaluate currently available commercial ELISA kits for their ability to differentiate between antibodies elicited by the two serotypes. Three trials were performed in which chickens were orally inoculated with either a high or a low dose of serotype 1 STC or serotype 2 OH strains of IBDV. Sera collected at 0, 7, 14, and 21 days from these chickens and antisera procured from naturally infected broiler (n = 20) and layer (n = 30) flocks were tested with five different commercial ELISA kits and by VN. All ELISA kits detected different levels of antibodies elicited against serotype 1 of the virus and moderate and high levels of antibodies against serotype 2 virus. A correlation existed between the ELISA and the VN titers of experimentally infected chickens. All serum samples tested from the commercial layer flocks and 65% of the broiler flocks had antibodies against the OH strain. However, no correlation between the VN titers and ELISA titers was observed for the commercial broilers and layers sera by the majority of the kits. The results indicated that currently available commercial ELISA kits detect antibodies elicited by the two serotypes of IBDV. Hence, the prevalence of serotype 2 antibodies in the flocks should be considered while determining antibody profiles of the flocks against serotype 1 viruses.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1