Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2004
Publication Date: February 15, 2005
Citation: Gamble, H.R., Dubey, J.P., Lambillotte, D.N. 2005. Comparison of a commercial ELISA with the modified agglutination test for detection of Toxoplasma infection in the domestic pig. Veterinary Parasitology. 31(128):177-181.
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common in animal and humans. Diagnosis of infection during life of the host is difficult. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Safe-Path Laboratories in California have validated the usefulness of serology (blood examination for antibodies) for diagnosis of inapparent Toxoplasma infection in pigs. These results will be of interest to veterinarians, public health workers and parasitologists.
The modified agglutination test (MAT) and a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were compared for detection of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in naturally-infected market-aged pigs. Infected pigs were obtained from commercial slaughter facilities and from farms where infection had previously been detected. Infection was confirmed by bioassay in cats. For 70 bioassay positive pigs, 60 were positive by MAT (85.7% sensitivity) and 62 were positive by ELISA (88.6% sensitivity). Of 204 bioassay negative samples 193 were negative by MAT (94.6% specificity) and 200 were negative by ELISA (98.0% specificity). Good correlation was seen between MAT and ELISA results. The results suggest that the ELISA may be a good tool for epidemiological studies of Toxoplasma infection on pig farms.