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Aust Vet J. 1991 Aug;68(8):253-7.

Comparison of the Johne's absorbed EIA and the complement-fixation test for the diagnosis of Johne's disease in cattle.

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Department of Agriculture, Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood.

Erratum in

  • Aust Vet J 1991 Dec;68(12):399.


A commercially available absorbed ELISA for the diagnosis of Johne's disease (JD) (paratuberculosis) in cattle, the Johne's Absorbed EIA, was compared with the conventional complement-fixation test (CFT) used in Australia. Stored plasma from 3 Victorian dairy herds with a history of JD, sera from specimens submitted from animals showing clinical signs of JD and sera from the US National Repository for Paratuberculosis Specimens were used to determine the sensitivity of each test. The EIA detected 48.8% of 43 Australian animals with subclinical JD, while the CFT detected only 12 (21.4%) of 56 subclinically affected cattle. Of 150 subclinically infected US cattle, the EIA detected 47.3% and the CFT detected 52.0%. The EIA detected 59.7% of animals which at the time of sampling were shedding Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in their faeces, but showed no clinical signs of JD, while the CFT detected 57.3%. The EIA correctly identified 88.2% of 136 histologically confirmed clinical cases, and the CFT detected 83.4%. The specificity of each test was determined by testing sera collected at slaughter from animals residing in a known JD-free area of Australia, and from samples from the US National Repository of Paratuberculosis Specimens collected from certified-free herds in Wisconsin. The EIA was found to have a specificity of 99.8% when 998 Australian animals were used as the test population, and 99.0% when 196 US animals were used. The specificity of the CFT using Australian samples was 96.9% and 95.2% using American samples.

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