Adaptation and diagnostic potential of a commercial cat interferon gamma release assay for the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infection in African lions (Panthera leo)

Gumbo, Rachiel ; Sylvester, Tashnica T. ; Goosen, Wynand J. ; Buss, Peter E. ; De Klerk-Lorist, Lin-Mari ; Van Schalkwyk, O. Louis ; McCall, Alicia ; Warren, Robin M. ; Van Helden, Paul D. ; Miller, Michele A. ; Kerr, Tanya J. (2022-07-04)

CITATION: Gumbo, R. et al. 2022. Adaptation and diagnostic potential of a commercial cat interferon gamma release assay for the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infection in African lions (Panthera leo). Pathogens, 11:765, doi:10.3390/pathogens11070765.

The original publication is available at https://www.mdpi.com

Article

Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in wildlife, including lions (Panthera leo), has implications for individual and population health. Tools for the detection of infected lions are needed for diagnosis and disease surveillance. This study aimed to evaluate the Mabtech Cat interferon gamma (IFN-γ) ELISABasic kit for detection of native lion IFN-γ in whole blood samples stimulated using the QuantiFERON® TB Gold Plus (QFT) platform as a potential diagnostic assay. The ELISA was able to detect lion IFN-γ in mitogen-stimulated samples, with good parallelism, linearity, and a working range of 15.6–500 pg/mL. Minimal matrix interference was observed in the recovery of domestic cat rIFN-γ in lion plasma. Both intra- and inter-assay reproducibility had a coefficient of variation less than 10%, while the limit of detection and quantification were 7.8 pg/mL and 31.2 pg/mL, respectively. The diagnostic performance of the QFT Mabtech Cat interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) was determined using mycobacterial antigen-stimulated samples from M. bovis culture-confirmed infected (n = 8) and uninfected (n = 4) lions. A lion-specific cut-off value (33 pg/mL) was calculated, and the sensitivity and specificity were determined to be 87.5% and 100%, respectively. Although additional samples should be tested, the QFT Mabtech Cat IGRA could identify M. bovisinfected African lions.

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