J Vet Sci.  2007 Mar;8(1):57-64. 10.4142/jvs.2007.8.1.57.

Development of a monoclonal antibody-based co-agglutination test to detect enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic neonatal calves

  • 1Intas Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., Plot No. 423/P/A/GIDC, Sarkhej-Bavla Highway, Moraiya, Ahmedabad-382 210, Gujarat, India. brajesh.varshney@intasbiopharma.co.in, brij022002@yahoo.co.in
  • 2R&D, Biotechnology, National Dairy Development Board, Anand-388 001, Gujarat, India.


Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains were collected from young diarrheic calves in farms and field. Strains that expressed the K99 (F5) antigen were identified by agglutination tests using reference antibodies to K99 antigen and electron microscopy. The K99 antigen from a selected field strain (SAR-14) was heat-extracted and fractionated on a Sepharose CL-4B column. Further purification was carried out by sodium deoxycholate treatment and/or ion-exchange chromatography. Monoclonal antibodies to purified K99 antigen were produced by the hybridoma technique, and a specific clone, NEK99-5.6.12, was selected for propagation in tissue culture. The antibodies, thus obtained, were affinity-purified, characterized and coated onto Giemsastained Cowan-I strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The antibody-coated S. aureus were used in a coagglutination test to detect K99+ E. coli isolated from feces of diarrheic calves. The specificity of the test was validated against reference monoclonal antibodies used in co-agglutination tests, as well as in ELISA. Specificity of the monoclonal antibodies was also tested against various Gram negative bacteria. The developed antibodies specifically detected purified K99 antigen in immunoblots, as well as K99+ E. coli in ELISA and co-agglutination tests. The co-agglutination test was specific and convenient for large-scale screening of K99+ E. coli isolates.


co-agglutination; diarrhea; Escherichia coli; K99 antigen; monoclonal antibodies
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