Analysis of larval antigens of Oestrus ovis for the diagnosis of oestrosis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

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A serodiagnostic test for the diagnosis of infestation by the sheep nasal bot fly, Oestrus ovis (Linné) was examined. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique was used to analyze and compare the production of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against excretory-secretory products (ESP) and crude extract (CE) antigens from all the different larval stages of O. ovis in the sera of 276 adult sheep sampled in summer (n = 135) and winter (n = 141). ESP from first stage larvae was the most sensitive, coating antigen in winter and ESP from second stage larvae during summer. The most specific values were obtained by ESP against L1 in winter and by CE against L3 in summer. These results show that the stage of larval development has a significant impact on the humoral immune response over the course of a season. A significant correlation (P < 0.001) was found between the number of O. ovis larvae and the serum antibody levels using all differents antigens, except L3 CE. In Spain, where a long favourable period exists for the evolution and development of the different stage larvae between March and November, the ELISA test using L1 ESP antigen during winter and L2 ESP antigen in summer may be used for ovine oestrosis immunodiagnosis.

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