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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012, Article ID 563293, 7 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Serodiagnostic Assays for Mycobacterium bovis Infection in Elk, White-Tailed Deer, and Reindeer in the United States

1National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Veterinary Services (VS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ames, IA 50010, USA
2VS, APHIS, USDA, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117, USA
3VS, APHIS, USDA, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA

Received 6 February 2012; Accepted 11 April 2012

Academic Editor: Mitchell Palmer

Copyright © 2012 Jeffrey T. Nelson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture conducted a project in which elk (Cervus elaphus spp.), white-tailed deer (WTD) (Odocoileus virginianus), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) were evaluated by the single cervical tuberculin test (SCT), comparative cervical tuberculin test (CCT), and serologic tests. The rapid antibody detection tests evaluated were the CervidTB Stat-Pak (Stat-Pak), and the Dual Path Platform VetTB (DPP). Blood was collected from presumably uninfected animals prior to tuberculin injection for the SCT. A total of 1,783 animals were enrolled in the project. Of these, 1,752 (98.3%) were classified as presumably uninfected, based on originating from a captive cervid herd with no history of exposure to TB. Stat-Pak specificity estimates were 92.4% in reindeer, 96.7% in WTD, and 98.3% in elk and were not significantly different from SCT specificity estimates. Using the DPP in series on Stat-Pak antibody-positive samples improved specificity in the three species. Thirty one animals were classified as confirmed infected, based on necropsy and laboratory results, and 27/31 were antibody positive on Stat-Pak for an estimated sensitivity of 87.1%. The study findings indicate that rapid serologic tests used in series are comparable to the SCT and CCT and may have a greater ability to detect TB-infected cervids.