Equine coronavirus (EqCoV) infection has been documented in most reports through quantitative qPCR analysis of feces and viral genome sequencing. Although qPCR is used to detect antigen during the acute disease phase, there is no equine-specific antibody test available to study EqCoV seroprevalence in various horse populations. We developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) targeting antibodies to the spike (S) protein of EqCoV and validated its use, using acute and convalescent sera from 83 adult horses involved in 6 outbreaks. The EqCoV S protein–based ELISA was able to reliably detect antibodies to EqCoV in naturally infected horses. The greatest seroconversion rate was observed in horses with clinical signs compatible with EqCoV infection and EqCoV qPCR detection in feces. The EqCoV S protein–based ELISA could be used effectively for seroepidemiologic studies in order to better characterize the overall infection rate of EqCoV in various horse populations.
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
- equine coronavirus
- natural infection
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