Validation of a competitive ELISA for diagnosis of Brucella melitensis infection in sheep and goats
A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was validated for the serodiagnosis of Brucella melitensis infection in small ruminants using 2108 positive and 2154 negative reference sera from sheep and goats. The optimum cut-off values, offering the highest diagnostic sensitivity (DSn) and diagnostic specificity (DSp), determined by receiver operating characteristic analysis, were at 23.6%, 21.8% and 25.0% inhibition of the conjugate control for sheep, goats and both species, respectively. The DSns of the cELISA for sheep, goats and both species at these cut-off values were 89.2% (95% confidence interval 87.1-91.1%), 74.0% (95% CI 71.476.5%) and 77.9% (95% CI 76.1-79.7%), whereas DSps were 96.4% (95% CI 95.2-97.4%), 92.9% (95% CI 91.1-94.3%) and 97.2% (95% CI 96.4-97.8%), respectively. Compared to cELISA, indirect ELISA and fluorescence polarisation assay have higher DSns and DSps. However, the results obtained with the cELISA were in good agreement with those of the complement fixation test (CFT) under field conditions using 5735 sheep and goat sera. The cELISA can be used as an alternative to the CFT for diagnosing B. melitensis infection in small ruminants. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.