Performance of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detection of antibodies against T. congolense and T. vivax in goats

Vet Parasitol. 2003 Oct 8;116(2):87-95. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4017(03)00257-7.


Indirect ELISAs using denatured antigen preparations of Trypanosoma (T.) congolense (TcAGd) and T. vivax (TvAGd) for detection of anti-trypanosome antibodies in bovine serum (I-TAB ELISAs), were adapted for serodiagnosis in goats. The diagnostic proficiency, the cross-reactivity with sera from heterologous trypanosome infections and the operational performance of the assays were evaluated on experimentally trypanosome-infected goats. The I-TAB ELISA (TcAGd) detected antibodies in all T. congolense infected goats (100% overall sensitivity) from 2 to 4 weeks post-infection (p.i.) until the end of the experiments. Specificity tested on 92 uninfected goats was 96.7%. Extensive cross-reactions of I-TAB ELISA (TcAGd) with sera from T. vivax or T. brucei infected goats were observed. The I-TAB ELISA (TvAGd) detected antibodies in 5 of the 6 T. vivax infected goats, specificity tested on uninfected goats was 100%. Cross-reactivity with sera from T. congolense or T. brucei infected goats remained limited. Infecting species identification based on the highest percent positivity (PP) in both systems, correctly identified all T. congolense infections, but misidentified in 2/19 occasions a T. vivax infection as a T. congolense infection. In the absence of T. brucei specific antigen coated plates, T. brucei infections were identified in, respectively, 7/9 and 2/9 occasions as T. congolense or T. vivax infections. Acceptable inter-plate repeatability was observed. The implications of results and technical requirements for ongoing applied research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood*
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Goat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Goat Diseases / immunology
  • Goats
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trypanosoma congolense / classification
  • Trypanosoma congolense / immunology*
  • Trypanosoma vivax / classification
  • Trypanosoma vivax / immunology*
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / diagnosis
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / veterinary*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan