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J Parasitol. 2005 Oct;91(5):1212-6.

Evaluation of homologous, heterologous, and affinity conjugates for the serodiagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus).

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Laboratory of Immunoparasitology, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, MG, Brasil.


Use of serological tests in the diagnosis of infectious diseases in wild animals has several limitations, primarily the difficulty of obtaining species-specific reagents. Wild canids, such as maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), are highly predisposed to infection by Toxoplasma gondii and, to a lesser extent, to Neospora caninum. The aim of the present study was to evaluate homologous, heterologous, and affinity conjugates in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and indirect fluorescent antibody tests (IFATs) for detecting immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies against T. gondii and N. caninum in maned wolves. Serum samples were obtained from 59 captive animals in Brazil and tested by ELISA for T. gondii serology and IFAT for N. caninum serology using 3 different enzymatic and fluorescent conjugates: homologous (guinea pig anti-maned wolf IgG-peroxidase and -fluorescein isothiocyanate [FITC]), heterologous (rabbit anti-dog IgG-peroxidase and -FITC), and affinity (protein A-peroxidase and -FITC). Seropositivity to T. gondii was comparable among the homologous (69.5%), heterologous (74.6%), and affinity (71.2%) enzymatic conjugates. A significant positive correlation was found between the antibody levels determined by the 3 enzymatic conjugates. The highest mean antibody levels (ELISA index = 4.5) were observed with the protein A-peroxidase conjugate. The same seropositivity to N. caninum (8.5%) was found with the homologous and heterologous fluorescent conjugates, but protein A-FITC was not able to detect or confirm any positive samples with homologous or heterologous conjugates. Our results demonstrate that homologous, heterologous, and affinity conjugates might be used in ELISA for serological assays of T. gondii in wild canids, whereas for N. caninum infection, only the homologous or heterologous fluorescent conjugates have been shown to be useful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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