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Vet Microbiol. 1994 Jul;41(1-2):107-16.

Comparison of a complement fixation test, a gel diffusion test and two absorbed and unabsorbed ELISAs for the diagnosis of paratuberculosis in sheep.

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Central Animal Health Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.


A complement fixation test for paratuberculosis, a gel diffusion test and two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were evaluated using sera from Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infected and non-infected sheep. Gross pathology and histopathology were used as parameters of infection. The two ELISAs, one of which is commercially available for testing cattle, were used before and after sera had been absorbed with a soluble sonicate of Mycobacterium phlei. Differences between the various tests and between ELISAs before and after absorption were non-significant (P > 0.05) in non-infected sheep or in animals with gross or histopathological lesions. The specificity of all the tests was at least 97%. Sensitivity in histopathologically positive sheep was at least 98%. Sheep from infected flocks but without histopathological lesions showed serological results which were poorly correlated between the various tests.

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