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The diagnostic efficiency of some serological tests for bovine brucellosis

  • R. J. Chappel (a1), D. J. McNaught (a1), J. A. Bourke (a1) and G. S. Allan (a1)

Summary

Results obtained from 1887 sera using three serological tests for bovine brucellosis were compared with a serological classification of sera described as the ‘probable infection status’. Sera showing apparent false positive and apparent false negative reactions were identified, and were subjected to supplementary testing as appropriate.

The serum agglutination test (SAT) gave 35% apparent false negative reactions and 5% apparent false positives. The complement fixation test (CFT) gave 12% apparent false negative reactions using warm fixation (CFTW) and at least 5% using cold fixation (CFTC). The routine diagnostic system used in Victoria, in which the CFTW is supplemented by the CFTC and the SAT, gave 9% apparent false negative reactions and 2% apparent false positive reactions. The radioimmunoassay gave 1% or 6% apparent false negative reactions, depending the minimum diagnostic value used.

Atypical reactions in the CFT sometimes caused difficulties in diagnosis.

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References

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Alton, G. G., Jones, L. M. & Pietz, D. E. (1975 a). Laboratory Techniques in Brucellosis, 2nd ed. World Health Organization Monograph Series, no. 55. Geneva.
Alton, G. G., Maw, J, Rogerson, B. A. & McPherson, G. G. (1975 b). The serological diagnosis of bovine brucellosis: an evaluation of the complement fixation, serum agglutination and Rose Bengal tests. Australian Veterinary Journal 51, 57.
Chappel, R. J., McNaught, D. J., Bourke, J. A. & Allan, G. S. (1978). Comparison of the results of some serological tests for bovine brucellosis. Journal of Hygiene 80, 365.
Chappel, R. J., Williamson, P., McNaught, D. J., Dalling, M. J. & Allan, G. S. (1976). Radioimmunoassay for antibodies against Brucella abortus: a new serological test for bovine brucellosis. Journal of Hygiene 77, 369.
Elberg, S. S. (1973). Immunity to Brucella infection. Medicine, Baltimore 52, 339.
Green, D. M. (1969). Brucellosis. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 18, suppl. 2, 33.
McNaught, D. J., Chappel, R. J., Allan, G. S., Bourke, J. A. & Rogerson, B. A. (1977). The effects of IgG2 and of antigen concentration on prozoning in the complement fixation test for bovine brucellosis. Research in Veterinary Science 22, 194.
Plackett, P. & Alton, G. G. (1975). A mechanism for prozone formation in the complement fixation test for bovine brucellosis. Australian Veterinary Journal 51, 374.
Plackett, P., Cottew, G. S. & Best, S. J. (1976). An indirect haemolysis test (IHLT) for bovine brucellosis. Australian Veterinary Journal 52, 136.

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