10.1002/vms3.134

New serological platform for detecting antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in European badgers

Abstract

European badgers (Meles meles ) have been identified as wildlife reservoirs for Mycobacterium bovis in the UK and Ireland, and may also have a role in the epidemiology of animal tuberculosis in other European regions. Thus, detection of M. bovis‐infected badgers may be required for the purposes of surveillance and monitoring of disease levels in infected populations. Current serological assays to detect M. bovis infection in live badgers, while rapid and inexpensive, show limited diagnostic sensitivity. Here we describe and evaluate new ELISA platforms for the recognition of the P22 multiprotein complex derived from the purified protein derivative (PPD ) of M. bovis . The recognition of IgG against P22 multiprotein complex derived from PPD ‐B was tested by ELISA in the serum of badgers from the UK , Ireland and Spain. TB infection in the badgers was indicated by the presence of M. bovis in tissues by culture and histology at post‐mortem examination and TB ‐free status was established by repeated negativity in the interferon γ release assay (IGRA ). In experimentally infected badgers, humoral antibody responses against P22 developed within 45 days post‐infection. The ELISA tests showed estimated sensitivity levels of 74–82% in experimentally and naturally infected badgers with specificities ranging from 75% to 100% depending on the badger population tested. The P22 multi‐antigen based ELISA s provide a sensitive and specific test platform for improved tuberculosis surveillance in badgers.This work was supported by the Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria of Spain (INIA; RTA2015-00043-C02-02) and the TAVS-CM Programme of the Comunidad de Madrid (S2013/ABI-2747), cofinanced by the FEDER fund ‘A way to build Europe’. This work was partially supported by a FEDER co-funded grant from INIA (RTA2014-00002-C02-01). Jose Antonio Infantes Lorenzo was supported by an FPU contract-fellowship (Formacion de Profesorado Universitario) from the Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte of the Spanish Government (FPU2013/6000).Peer reviewe

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This paper was published in Digital.CSIC.

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