Submitted to: BMC Research Notes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 18, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, accounts for up to 10% of human TB cases in developing countries and is increasing in cattle in the US and UK. Control of bTB is hindered by the presence of numerous wildlife reservoirs such as white-tailed deer, European badgers, and brush-tailed possums. Reasons for the failure to eradicate the disease are multi-factorial; however, limitations in the availability of accurate and convenient tests are a primary factor. In this study, a biological marker of infection was found in the sera of tuberculosis-infected cattle but not in sera from tuberculosis exposed or non-infected cattle. This information will be useful for development of a new test for the detection of tuberculosis in cattle; thereby, benefiting cattle producers.
Technical Abstract: Background: Early and unambiguous detection of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a significant disease of cattle worldwide, is necessary to control the spread of infection to other animals and humans. Current testing strategies are laborious, time consuming and heavily reliant on host responses that do not distinguish bTB from other mycobacteria. We report the presence of a pathogen signature, liparabinomannan (LAM), as a potential biomarker for bTB infection. Findings: Sixty-one animals (uninfected [n= 38], bTb [n= 10] and exposed cases [n=13]) from a well characterized bovine serum repository were screened for the presence of LAM using a commercially available ELISA. Analysis showed that LAM had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 91.7% for bTB detection (bTB positive versus bTB exposed animals). Conclusion: LAM detection easily separated bTB infected animals from bTB exposed and negative controls. We propose that pathogen related markers, such as LAM, should be included with current testing strategies as a battery diagnostic for bTB. Keywords: Mycobacterium bovis, bovine tuberculosis, biomarker, lipoarabinomannan, diagnostic, subclinical infection