Evaluation of the Effect of a Recent Comparative Intradermal Tuberculin Test on the Humoral Diagnosis of Paratuberculosis Using Serum and Milk Samples from Goats

Vet Sci. 2024 Feb 28;11(3):105. doi: 10.3390/vetsci11030105.


Paratuberculosis (PTB) and tuberculosis (TB) are two mycobacterial diseases with a severe economic and health impact on domestic ruminants. The ante mortem diagnosis of PTB is hampered, among other factors, by the limited sensitivity of all the available diagnostic techniques. Since TB-infected goats subjected to the comparative intradermal tuberculin test (CITT) may experience a booster effect on their antibody titer and a potential enhancement to the sensitivity of humoral techniques for tuberculosis, in the present study we aimed to evaluate this diagnostic strategy on the humoral diagnosis of PTB in serum and milk samples collected from a caprine herd that was TB free and PTB infected. The results from 120 goats indicated a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the quantitative response detected using an ELISA technique, conducted using serum and milk samples taken 15 and 30 days after performing a CITT (day 0 of the study); although, it did not translate into a significant increase in the number of reactors during any of the testing events (0, 3,15, 30 and 60 days post-CITT). Additionally, the number of ELISA-positive animals was higher for the serum versus the milk samples at both 15 and 30 days post-CITT. The increase in the quantitative ELISA result suggested a diagnostic strategy that maximizes ELISA sensitivity, mainly using serum samples, in PTB-infected herds; although, it may depend on individual differences and the interpretation criteria.

Keywords: ELISA; booster effect; caprine paratuberculosis; comparative intradermal tuberculin test; humoral diagnosis.