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J Vet Diagn Invest. 1997 Oct;9(4):363-7.

Experimental use of a dot-blot assay to measure serologic responses of cattle vaccinated with Brucella abortus strain RB51.

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Zoonotic Diseases Research Unit, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Brucella abortus strain RB51 was recently approved as an official brucellosis calfhood vaccine for cattle by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service branch of the United States Department of Agriculture. Currently available serologic surveillance tests for B. abortus do not detect seroconversion following SRB51 vaccination. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a dot-blot assay using gamma-irradiated strain RB51 bacteria for its specificity and sensitivity to detect antibody responses of cattle vaccinated with strain RB51. Dot-blot titers of sera at a recommended dosage (10(10) colony-forming units) were similar to those of sera from cattle vaccinated with similar numbers of B. abortus strain 19 and greater (P < 0.05) than titers of nonvaccinated cattle. In the first 12 weeks after vaccination with 10(10) colony-forming units of strain RB51, the RB51 dot-blot assay had 100% specificity for titers of 80 or less and a 53% sensitivity for titers of 160 or greater. Sensitivity of the RB51 dot-blot assay peaked at 4 weeks after vaccination with 10(10) colony-forming units of strain RB51. Dot-blot responses of sera from cattle vaccinated with a reduced dosage of strain RB51 (10(9) colony-forming units) did not differ (P > 0.05) from titers of sera from nonvaccinated cattle. Following intraconjunctival challenge with B. abortus strain 2308, titers on the RB51 dot-blot assay did not differ (P > 0.05) between nonvaccinated cattle and cattle vaccinated at calfhood with strain 19 or strain RB51.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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