Serodetection of btb using multiantigens
Microbiology and Infectious Disease -
46, Iss3 , July 2003, pp197-203
Despite attempts to control bovine tuberculosis, the incidence of disease in
Great Britain continues to rise. In GB, the European badger (Meles meles) is a
reservoir of infection with Mycobacterium bovis. In an effort to improve the
serodetection of badger tuberculosis, we examined sera from M. bovis
culture-positive and culture-negative badgers for their ability to recognize M.
bovis antigens, using a multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA). Depending on
the antigens used in the MAPIA, the assay had a sensitivity of 49–59% and a
specificity of 84-88% Results from the MAPIA were used to select antigens for
the development of a lateral-flow immunoassay. This so-called ‘Rapid Test’ used
5μl of serum and gave unambiguous results within 10 min. When applied to 178
badger sera, the Rapid Test had a sensitivity of 53% and a specificity of 95%.
This represented an improvement over the performance of the existing ELISA Test,
which had a sensitivity of 47% and a specificity of 89% on the same sera. This
is the first report of a diagnostic test for badger tuberculosis that can be
performed alongside the captive animal.