Infectious diseases of wild animals are of increasing importance, both from an economic viewpoint and because several of these diseases are pathogenic to man. However, serosurveys to determine the circulation of infectious organisms in wildlife are complicated by the fact that antibodies to species-specific immunoglobulins are not available for use in serological assays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or immunofluorescence assays. To determine the binding potential of four commercially available antibody conjugates with the sera of wild animals, sera from 27
species of small terrestrial mammals were allowed to react with alkaline phosphatase-labelled protein A, anti-rabbit lgG, anti-mouse lgG and anti-human lgG by by the use of an ELISA. It was found that sera from some species of the order Lagomorpha bound optimally to anti-rabbit lgG, while anti-mouse lgG could be used for most species of Rodentia. For all Carnivora, lnsectivora, Macroscelidea, Hyracoidea and other Rodentia, staphylococcal protein A demonstrated optimal binding. None of the sera that was tested bound to anti-human lgG. These results demonstrate that commercial conjugates can be used in serological assays in which wild animal sera are used, and should be useful
for future serosurveys to determine the circulation of infectious agents in small terrestrial mammals.