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Can J Vet Res. 1991 Jul;55(3):252-9.

An evaluation of selected screening tests for bovine paratuberculosis.

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Animal Diseases Research Institute, Agriculture Canada, Ontario.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the lipoarabinomannan antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (LAM-ELISA), carbohydrate antigen complement fixation (CH-CFT), and protein D antigen agar gel immunodiffusion (D-AGID) tests for bovine paratuberculosis, relative to histopathology, and to culture and isolation of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis from tissues and feces. Samples for test evaluation were collected from four sources including blood and tissues from 400 cull cows at three abattoirs in Ontario, blood and feces from a paratuberculosis survey of cattle from 120 dairy farms in Ontario, a serum bank containing samples from cattle from Ontario and Qu├ębec, and a bank of sera from cattle from Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. The data were analyzed using receiver operator characteristic curves, estimates of relative sensitivity and specificity, and kappa statistics of agreement between tests. The LAM-ELISA performed significantly better than both the CH-CFT and the D-AGID tests. The LAM-ELISA was better at predicting fecal shedding status than tissue infection. However, the LAM-ELISA also had limitations. When interpreted as positive or negative (+/-), at a critical optical density of 0.675, its sensitivity and specificity relative to bacteriology were 49% and 87% respectively. Although the serological tests examined in this study provided some information, they did not predict well the infection status of individual animals.

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