ISSN: 2223-2133
A Serological Investigation of Bovine Leukaemia Virus at a model farm at the University Field Station, Trinidad
Shirene Singh, Zinora Asgarali, Karla Georges, Michael Diptee, Kandice King, Selwyn Hosein

One hundred and seven dairy cattle (Group 1, 74 animals ≥ 20 months, and Group 2, 33 animals ≤ 20 months) from a model cattle farm at the University Field Station, in Trinidad, were tested for the presence of antibodies to the gp51 Bovine Leukaemia Virus (BLV) antigens using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results were compared with that of the agarose gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test which detects antibodies against both gp51 and p24 BLV antigens. In Group 1, seventy (94.6 %) animals tested positive, while four (5.4 %) produced a negative result by both ELISA and AGID. Regarding Group 2, six (18.2 %) animals tested positive while twenty seven (81.8 %) were negative with the ELISA; five (15.2 %) were positive with the AGID, whilst twenty eight (84.84 %) tested negative.

Haematological evaluations revealed the presence of a benign persistent lymphocytosis (PL) in 19.6 % of the BLV positive animals: Ten (13.5 %) of the Group 1 animals, all of which tested positive using both ELISA and AGID, and two (6.1 %) of the Group 2 animals, of which, only one tested positive using the ELISA. Age was significantly associated with a BLV positive status (P=0.0001). Animals > 20 months of age were more likely to be BLV positive than those ≤ 20 months (Odds Ratio, 75.8; 95 % CI, 19.8-290.4). The frequency with which BLV antibodies were found on this “model cattle farm” in Trinidad suggests that control measures should be implemented for the disease and further investigations be conducted to determine the overall seroprevalence of BLV in the country.


Keywords: Serological, Bovine Leukaemia Virus, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Agarose gel immunodiffusion.