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Rev Elev Med Vet Pays Trop. 1990;43(2):159-66.

[Comparison between 3 antigens for the serodiagnosis of heartwater disease by indirect immunofluorescence].

[Article in French]

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Institut d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex, Guadeloupe.


A cell line of bovine endothelial cells (E5), infected with 3 different stocks of Cowdria ruminantium, was used as antigen in an indirect fluorescent antibody test for the serodiagnosis of heartwater. These antigens were compared to peritoneal macrophages from mice infected with the Kümm stock and to caprine neutrophils in primary cultures from goats infected with 4 different stocks of Cowdria. The use of endothelial cell cultures proved to be superior in all respects. The antigens can be produced in large quantities at a low cost, contrary to the other types. The reaction is easily and quickly read, compared to the laborious reading of neutrophil or macrophage antigens which often contain few and small colonies of Cowdria. Moreover, not all stocks are suitable for the preparation of neutrophil antigens, while macrophage antigen can only be obtained with the Kümm stock. Endothelial cell antigens also distinguish serotypes in C. ruminantium, but these differences seem to be less pronounced than those found with neutrophil antigens. Finally, the specificity of endothelial cell antigens appears to be better than that of Kümm antigen and comparable to that of neutrophil antigens. The use of Kümm antigen may have been responsible to a large extent for past unexplained positive serological results on certain Caribbean islands where it has not been possible to isolate Cowdria and where no clinical evidence of the disease has been found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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