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Serodiagnosis of Burkholderia mallei infections in horses: state-of-the-art and perspectives.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie der Bundeswehr, Neuherbergstr. 11, 80937 München, Germany.


Burkholderia mallei causes glanders or farcy in solipeds, a disease that must be reported to the OIE (Office International des Epizooties, Paris, France). The number of reported outbreaks has increased steadily during the last decade. Serodiagnosis is hampered by the considerable number of false-positives and -negatives of the internationally prescribed tests. The major problem leading to low sensitivity and specificity of complement fixation test (CFT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been linked to the test antigens currently used, i.e. crude preparations of whole cells. Future perspectives for the development and evaluation of serological test kits using well-characterized single antigens are discussed in the light of recent molecular research on B. mallei and the closely related saprozoonotic agent B. pseudomallei.

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