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A new test to detect antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in red deer serum

Thomas, J., Infantes-Lorenzo, J.A., Moreno, I., Romero, B., Garrido, J.M., Juste, R., Domínguez, M., Domínguez, L., Gortazar, C., Risalde, M.A.
The veterinary journal 2019 v.244 pp. 98-103
Cervus elaphus, Mycobacterium bovis, antibodies, antigens, blood serum, confidence interval, control methods, disease prevention, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, livestock, serodiagnosis, tuberculosis, wildlife
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) farming is a growing economic activity worldwide. However, the capacity of this species to act as reservoir of animal tuberculosis (TB) poses a threat to other wildlife and to livestock. Diagnostic assay accuracy in this species is therefore highly relevant for prevention and control measures. Our aim was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the protein complex P22, obtained from Mycobacterium bovis derived purified protein derivative (bPPD), as a candidate antigen for the detection of antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). We assessed the performance of this new antigen in indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in TB-positive and TB-negative red deer, in comparison with a bPPD-based ELISA.The P22 ELISA achieved a higher specificity (Sp) and similar sensitivity (Se) in comparison with the bPPD ELISA at all the cut-off points considered. The P22 ELISA yielded optimal Sp (99.02%; 95% confidence intervals [CI95%]: 96.5–99.8) and appropriate Se (70.1%; CI95%: 63.6–76) at the selected cut-off point of 100%. These results suggest that P22 can be used as an alternative antigen in the immunodiagnosis of animal TB through the use of an ELISA-type detection of antibodies against MTC in red deer, thus contributing to the diagnosis of animal TB in this species as a measure for further disease prevention and control programs.