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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Mar;17(3):408-11. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00424-09. Epub 2009 Dec 30.

Evaluation of a rapid serological test for the determination of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers (Meles meles) found dead.

Author information

1
TB Research Group, Department of Statutory and Exotic Bacterial Diseases, Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK. m.a.chambers@vla.defra.gsi.gov.uk

Abstract

Between October 2005 and May 2006, a total of 727 badgers found dead in Wales were reported, and 550 were delivered to the Regional Laboratories of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). Of the 459 carcasses suitable for examination, 55 were deemed to be infected with Mycobacterium bovis on the basis of culture, spoligotyping, and variable-number tandem repeat typing. Acid-fast bacteria were observed histologically in a further six badgers, but these bacteria were not confirmed as M. bovis by culture. A rapid serological test (BrockTB Stat-Pak) performed on thoracic blood showed a sensitivity of 35% and a specificity of 99%. Presence of M. bovis infection was 45 times more likely to be confirmed postmortem by culture in BrockTB Stat-Pak-reactive animals than in seronegative ones. Using visible carcass lesions as a marker of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) infection had a similar sensitivity (38%) but was significantly less specific (84%) than serology. The overall accuracy of the antibody detection was 93% (346 correct results from 374 tests), whereas the accuracy of regarding visible lesions as a marker for bTB infection was 78% (354 correct from 453 carcasses examined). Culture remains the gold standard method for detecting M. bovis infection in badgers. However, where resources are limited and/or an instant result is preferred, the BrockTB Stat-Pak could be used in field surveillance efforts to identify animals which should be examined further by only submitting test-negative animals to more detailed postmortem examination and culture.

PMID:
20042520
PMCID:
PMC2837968
DOI:
10.1128/CVI.00424-09
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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