An indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test was developed and standardized to detect and quantitate antibody for swine infertility and respiratory syndrome (SIRS) virus in swine sera. Test results were evaluated using sera of pigs infected both experimentally and naturally with SIRS virus. The IFA test used swine alveolar macrophage (SAM) monolayers prepared in 96-well microplates and infected with SIRS virus. The monolayers were incubated with test sera, washed, and stained with fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled rabbit anti-swine IgG. After another wash step, the monolayers were examined under a fluorescent microscope. A noninfected SAM control well was included for each sample. The antibody titers for each serum sample were recorded as the highest serum dilutions with specific cytoplasmic fluorescence but no fluorescence in the control wells. To evaluate the test, sera of 4 6-week-old pigs that had been infected with SIRS virus, 2 contact pigs, and 13 experimentally infected sows were used. In the experimentally infected pigs, antibody was first detected at 7 days postexposure (PE) and peaked (1:256–1,024) between 11 and 21 days PE. All 13 sow sera were negative at time of infection but were positive (1:64-> 1: 1,024) at 14–26 days PE. Seven hundred twenty sera collected from 25 different swine farms with or without a history of SIRS were also tested. Of 344 sera from 15 swine farms with a clinical history of SIRS, 257 (74.7%) sera had IFA titers ≥ 1:4, whereas 371 (98.7%) of 376 sera from herds with no history of SIRS were negative. The present results indicate that the IFA is a useful test for the detection and quantitation of SIRS virus antibody in swine sera.
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