COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University researcher has been awarded a patent for a test that can detect the presence of antibodies for a chicken virus that can be economically devastating.
The test is an ELISA assay and detects antibodies to infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a disease that can make chickens susceptible to future illness and infection. The same researcher has a patent pending for an IBD-PCR test, which determines if chickens in a flock currently have the virus. Both tests are now commercially available.
Use of these tests can tell farmers if their chickens need to be vaccinated against IBDV, and if so, which vaccine to choose.
Chicken farming is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. IBDV is the second-leading cause of viral disease in chickens. The first is infectious bronchitis virus, a respiratory disease.
Neither disease is deadly, but each is important from an economic standpoint, said Daral Jackwood, principal developer of the two tests and professor of molecular virology at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
A producer wont get the same performance out of his flock. Its going to cost more to feed the birds and the birds will weigh less when they go to market. It can be economically devastating, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars.
The ELISA assay requires drawing blood samples from chickens. This test determines how well the chickens are protected from strains of the virus -- in other words, how much antibody they have in their system. Higher antibody levels mean greater protection. Jackwood said older ELISA tests werent able to detect antibodies to specific strains of IBDV.