Objective: To compare a recently developed recombinant MSP-5 competitive inhibition ELISA with a card agglutination test for detection of antibodies to Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma centrale in Australian cattle.
Materials and methods: The ELISA was compared with the card agglutination test using 208 sera from cattle in Anaplasma-free herds, 86 sera from cattle experimentally infected with A marginale or A centrale and 757 sera from cattle in areas endemic for A marginale.
Results: The specificity of the ELISA, based on testing 208 sera from cattle in Anaplasma-free areas, was 99.5%, and the sensitivities for detection of antibodies to A marginale and A centrale in sera from the experimentally infected cattle were 98.0% and 100%, respectively. For the same sets of sera, the specificity of the card agglutination test was 98.6% and the sensitivities for detection of antibodies to A marginale and A centrale were 98.0% and 100%, respectively. For the 757 sera collected from cattle in areas endemic for A marginale, the agreement between the ELISA and the card agglutination test depended on the positive threshold selected for the ELISA. The maximum achievable agreement was 91.5% (kappa = 0.73; 95% confidence interval 0.66, 0.79).
Conclusion: We conclude that the competitive inhibition ELISA is a useful alternative to the card agglutination test for detection of A marginale or A centrale infection in cattle. The assay should be particularly useful for epidemiological applications such as prevalence studies and control programs.