Evaluation of an indigenous ELISA for diagnosis of Johne's disease and its comparison with commercial kits

Indian J Microbiol. 2007 Sep;47(3):251-8. doi: 10.1007/s12088-007-0046-2. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


Country lacks sensitive and indigenous diagnostic kits for the screening of goats and sheep against Johne's disease. Therefore an indigenous ELISA kit was developed using protoplasmic antigen from native Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis 'Bison Type' strain of goat origin (Kit 1). In the present study, kit 1 and two commercial kits (kit 2 and 3) were evaluated with respect to 'Gold Standard' fecal culture in 71 animals (55 goats and 16 sheep). Kit 1 using indigenous antigen (protoplasmic antigen) was sensitive at very low concentration (0.1 μgm / well) as compared to purified commercial protoplasmic antigen (4 μgm / well) used in kit 2, in the Type 1 reactors (strong positive as positive). Screening of 71 animals by fecal culture detected 38.0% animals (goats-40.0%, sheep-31.2%) as positive (clinical shedders of bacilli) from these farm animals. Of the farm animals located at Central Institute for Research on Goats, herds of goat were endemic whereas, sheep flocks were comparatively resistant to Johne's disease. The 29.5 and 61.9, 15.4 and 57.7 and 4.2 and 14.0% animals (goats and sheep) were in the category of sero-reactors type 1 and 2 of the ELISA kits 1, 2 and 3, respectively. In the type 1 sero-reactors, sensitivity and specificity of kit 1, 2 and 3 was 53.7 and 86.0, 17.8 and 86.0 and 3.5 and 94.7%, respectively. Indigenous ELISA test (kit 1) was significantly superior for the screening of goatherds and sheep flocks against JD as compared to commercial ELISA kits (Kit 2 and 3). In comparison to kit 2 and 3, kit 1 had highest sensitivity, comparable specificity and substantial to nearly perfect proportional agreement (Kappa Scores) with respect to 'Gold standard' fecal culture in goats and sheep. Disease being endemic in herds and flocks screened using ELISA kits, Type I sero-rectors had better correlation with fecal culture in comparison to Type II sero-reactors therefore, used for estimation of sero-prevalence. Newly developed Indigenous ELISA kit was simple, inexpensive, sensitive and reliable for screening of goats and sheep population against Johne's disease. The study reports high prevalence of Johne's disease in farm goatherds and sheep flocks, using sensitive tests (fecal culture and ELISA kit). Results of Type 1 reaction in kit 1 were optimally correlated with culture and were good for estimating the sero-prevalence. For controlling Johne's disease in endemic herds initial removal of the animals in strong positive category (Tyep 1 reactors), may help to remove heavy shedders.

Keywords: Diagnosis; ELISA kit; Fecal culture; Johne’s disease; Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis; Protoplasmic antigen.