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Clinical and Diagnostic Developments of a Gamma Interferon Release Assay for Use in Bovine Tuberculosis Control Programs

K. E. Bass, B. J. Nonnecke, M. V. Plamer, T. C. Thacker, R. Hardegger, B. Schroeder, A. J. Raeber, W. R. Waters
Clinical and vaccine immunology 2013 v.20 no.12 pp. 1827-1835
Mycobacterium bovis, animals, bacterial antigens, biomarkers, bovine tuberculosis, diagnostic sensitivity, freeze drying, herds, immunoassays, interferon-gamma, serodiagnosis
Currently, the Bovigam assay is used as an official supplemental test within bovine tuberculosis control programs. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate two Mycobacterium bovis-specific peptide cocktails and purified protein derivatives (PPDs) from two sources, liquid and lyophilized antigen preparations. PPDs and peptide cocktails were also used for comparison of a second-generation gamma interferon (IFN-γ) release assay kit with the currently licensed first-generation kit (Bovigam; Prionics AG). Three strains of M. bovis were used for experimental challenge: M. bovis 95-1315, M. bovis Ravenel, and M. bovis 10-7428. Additionally, samples from a tuberculosis-affected herd (i.e., naturally infected) were evaluated. Robust responses to both peptide cocktails, HP (PC-HP) and ESAT-6/CFP10 (PC-EC), and the PPDs were elicited as early as 3 weeks after challenge. Only minor differences in responses to Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) and Lelystad PPDs were detected with samples from experimentally infected animals. For instance, responses to Lelystad M. avium-derived PPD (PPDa) exceeded the respective responses to the CSL PPDa in M. bovis Ravenel-infected and control animals. However, a 1:4 dilution of stimulated plasma demonstrated greater separation of PPDb from PPDa responses (i.e., PPDb minus PPDa) with the use of Lelystad PPDs, suggesting that Lelystad PPDs provide greater diagnostic sensitivity than CSL PPDs. The responses to lyophilized and liquid antigen preparations did not differ. Responses detected with first- and second-generation IFN-γ release assay kits (Bovigam) did not differ throughout the study. In conclusion, antigens may be stored in a lyophilized state without loss in potency, PC-HP and PC-EC are dependable biomarkers for aiding in the detection of bovine tuberculosis, and second-generation Bovigam kits are comparable to currently used kits.