A relatively simple and sensitive method is described which enables the effect of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) on the receptor-destroying enzyme (RDE) and the haemagglutination (HA) activity of bovine coronavirus (BCV) to be analysed in one assay. A lysate of HRT-18 cells infected with the L9 strain of BCV was found to have a higher RDE:HA ratio than purified virus. At 4 °C the lysate induced an HA pattern which completely disappeared upon raising of the temperature to 37 °C. This L9-infected cell lysate was used to determine the HA inhibition (HAI) titres of MAbs directed against the surface glycoproteins S and HE of BCV. Thereafter, the test plates were incubated at 37 °C to enable the ability of the MAbs to prevent elution of virus from BCV-erythrocyte complexes to be assessed. No inhibition of RDE was detectable with MAbs against glycoprotein S, which had HAI titres ranging from 1:16 to 1:128. On the other hand, MAbs directed against glycoprotein HE had similar HAI titres, but they inhibited elution of 8 HA units of BCV at titres of up to 1:65000.


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