The performance of the Virogen Rotatest latex agglutination test (LAT) was evaluated for detection of bovine rotavirus antigen. Sixty-three fecal samples from diarrheic calves were collected from November 1999 to May 2000 and screened by LAT, the Rotazyme II enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and virus isolation (VI) followed by an anti-rotavirus fluorescent-antibody (FA) test to detect the presence of group A rotavirus antigen. Of the 63 samples screened by VI-FA, 33 (58%) tested positive for rotavirus antigen. When the results from the LAT were compared to those from VI-FA, the “gold standard” for detection of bovine rotavirus in fecal samples, the sensitivity and specificity were found to be 87.8 and 73.3%, respectively. Latex agglutination compared with ELISA (the reference method) showed 100% sensitivity and 96.3% specificity, and when ELISA was compared with VI, the sensitivity was 84.8% and the specificity was 73.3%. Latex agglutination is easy to perform in a short time and does not require expensive equipment or skilled personnel, and the reagents have long shelf lives. These factors make the LAT suitable and highly efficient for use in a clinical laboratory as a rapid screening test for bovine rotavirus
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