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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Nov;18(11):1882-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.05343-11. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Development and evaluation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for use in the detection of bovine tuberculosis in cattle.

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USDA, ARS, National Animal Disease Center, P.O. Box 70, Ames, IA 50010-0070, USA.


As a consequence of continued spillover of Mycobacterium bovis into cattle from wildlife reservoirs and increased globalization of cattle trade with associated transmission risks, new approaches such as vaccination and novel testing algorithms are seriously being considered by regulatory agencies for the control of bovine tuberculosis. Serologic tests offer opportunities for identification of M. bovis-infected animals not afforded by current diagnostic techniques. The present study describes assay development and field assessment of a new commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that detects antibody to M. bovis antigens MPB83 and MPB70 in infected cattle. Pertinent findings include the following: specific antibody responses were detected at ∼90 to 100 days after experimental M. bovis challenge, minimal cross-reactive responses were elicited by infection/sensitization with nontuberculous Mycobacterium spp., and the apparent sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA with naturally infected cattle were 63% and 98%, respectively, with sensitivity improving as disease severity increased. The ELISA also detected infected animals missed by the routine tuberculin skin test, and antibody was detectable in bulk tank milk samples from M. bovis-infected dairy herds. A high-throughput ELISA could be adapted as a movement, border, or slaughter surveillance test, as well as a supplemental test to tuberculin skin testing.

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