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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Jun 29;849:262-72.

Validation and comparison of three enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of antibodies to Cowdria ruminantium infection.

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CIRAD-EMVT, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, French West Indies.


Serological tests for Cowdria ruminantium infection have been hampered by low specificity. Here, an indirect ELISA based on purified antigen, a competitive ELISA using a recombinant major antigenic protein (MAP-1) and an indirect ELISA based on the MAP-1B region of the recombinant MAP-1 were compared. The tests were validated using 3000 sera of ruminants from 14 islands of the Lesser Antilles as well as sequential serum samples from 10 cattle, 17 goats and 10 sheep vaccinated with inactivated C. ruminantium in ISA 50 adjuvant and from 14 goats infected with a virulent culture supernatant. All tests detected significantly higher percentages of positives on Antigua, Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante, where C. ruminantium had been isolated before. Overall specificity calculated with sera from the other 11 heartwater-free islands was 98.1%, 98.5%, and 99.4% for the ELISA based on crude antigen, recombinant MAP-1 and MAP-1B, respectively. Sensitivities observed with sequential serum samples were similar for all tests. Tests based on recombinant antigens, especially the MAP-1B, showed improved specificity, suggesting their use for epidemiological studies in regions where the distribution of cowdriosis is unknown. In addition, the competitive ELISA is useful for studies in wildlife for which species-specific conjugates do not exist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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