A western blot assay using purified recombinant bovine immunodeficiency virus gag protein has been developed for detection of bovine immunodeficiency virus antibodies in bovine serum samples. The test was standardized with known bovine immunodeficiency virus positive and negative bovine serum samples and the monoclonal antibody to gag protein. Both naturally and experimentally infected cattle sera demonstrated positive test results. The result of western blot assay was compared with polymerase chain reaction test results in 134 blood samples collected from Kansas. Twenty-six samples tested positive for bovine immunodeficiency virus DNA with polymerase chain reaction (18.7%) and 25 were positive for the antibody to gag protein by western blot analysis (17.9%). Of 26 cattle testing positive using the polymerase chain reaction assay, 24 were antibody-positive by western blot assay, thus establishing a strong correlation between the two tests. The sensitivity and specificity of western blot relative to polymerase chain reaction are 0.92 and 0.99, respectively. The western blot assay proved to be a specific and sensitive test.
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