Evaluation of a new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in goat milk


Caprine tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonosis with sanitary and economic repercussions. Caprine TB control programs are based on a test and cull strategy using the intradermal tuberculin tests and slaughterhouse surveillance. However, this approach is not always feasible and may have a limited sensitivity under specific circumstances. In this study, performance of a new experimental test based on the P22 protein complex (P22 ELISA) was evaluated in two TB-infected herds using milk and serum samples and compared with cell-based diagnostic tests. Samples from a low (n = 62, herd 1) and a high (n = 52, herd 2) TB prevalence herd were selected. Moreover, bulk tank milk samples from both herds were analysed using the P22 ELISA. At the end of the study, a group of animals (n = 21) was euthanized and subjected to post-mortem analysis and bacteriological culture. Significant differences (p < .001) on the qualitative and quantitative (ODs) results were observed between herds using both serum and milk samples in the P22 ELISA. The correlation observed in the quantitative results obtained in serum and milk samples was very strong in animals from flock 2 (rs = 0.91) and moderate in animals from flock 1 (rs = 0.46). Among the slaughtered animals, the P22 ELISA detected a higher proportion of lesion-culture positive animals than cell-based diagnostic tests (61.9 and 66.7% using milk and serum samples, respectively). The P22 ELISA using milk samples demonstrated a similar sensitivity compared with serum samples, suggesting it might be a valuable test for TB control in dairy goats.This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) of Spain (grant number: RTA2015–00043-C02–02). Alvaro Roy is the recipient of an Industrial Doctorate contract (DI15-08110) funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the European Social Fund.Peer reviewe

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