Biology ETDs

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Rotavirus has been shown to be an etiological agent of acute gastroenteritis, in human infants and children and in young animals, such as mice, calves, lambs, and pigs. Bovine, porcine, simian (SA-11) rotaviruses and the “0” agent (sheep, goat) have been cultivated in cell cultures. To date the human rotavirus has been propagated only in fetal intestine organ cultures, where it has lost infectivity after a few passages. For this reason, methods of detection of the human rotavirus and serological tests for antibodies to it have been difficult to develop. At the present time there are several techniques that are in use: complement fixation (CF), indirect immunofluorescence (IF), neutralization (NT), electron microscopy (EM), immunofluorescence (IF), neutralization (NT), electron microscopy (EM, immunoelectron microscopy (IEM), hemagglutination-inhibition (HI), radioimmuniassay (RIA), and enzme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

The objective of this project was to compare the sensitivity of EM and IEM with ELISA for the detection of human rotavirus and antibodies to the virus.

Fecal and serum specimens were tested by EM and ELISA for rotavirus. The simian agent, SA-11 was used to detect antibodies to the human rotavirus by IEM and ELISA. Results showed that EM agreed with ELISA in 36 out of 38 stool specimens, for 94.7% agreement. IEM agreed with ELISA in 19 out of 20 sera specimens for 95% agreement. Using the "phi" test, a statistically significant correlation (p < .001) could be demonstrated between the two techniques. In these studies ELISA was as sensitive as EM and IEM in detecting fecal virus and serum antibody to rotavirus.

There are definite advantages of the ELISA test over EM and IEM. These include simplicity in procedure as well as instrumentation, reagent stability and relatively non-specialized personnel for performing the assays. The EM and IEM procedures can, however, provide an advantage in the rapidity with which a specimen can be diagnosed.



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First Committee Member (Chair)

Joseph Victor Scaletti

Second Committee Member

Leroy Clarence McLaren

Third Committee Member

Linda Carol Saland

Fourth Committee Member

Alice Huston Cushing

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