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Chileshe, J.; Roos, E.; Goosen, W.J.; Buss, P.; Hausler, G.; Rossouw, L.; Manamela, T.; Helden, P.D. van; Warren, R.; Parsons, S.D.C.; Miller, M., 2019. An interferon-gamma release assay for the diagnosis of the Mycobacterium bovis infection in white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 217: 1-4 - https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2019.109931

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Location: Africa
Subject: Diseases
Species: White Rhino


Original text on this topic:
Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), the cause of bovine tuberculosis, is endemic in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. The risk of spread of M. bovis infection currently prevents translocation of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) from this population. Therefore, accurate assays are necessary for screening this threatened species. Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) release assays (IGRA) are commonly used for tuberculosis diagnosis in humans and other wildlife species. Hence, the aim of this study was to develop an IGRA for M. bovis detection in white rhinoceros. Heparinized whole blood was collected from immobilized white rhinoceros in KNP (n = 131) and incubated overnight in QuantiFERON┬«-TB Gold (QFT) blood collection tubes, after which the plasma was harvested following centrifugation. Tissue samples for mycobacterial culture were available from a subset of 21 rhinoceros. The concentration of IFN-γ in plasma samples was measured using the Mabtech equine IFN-γ ELISAPRO kit. An IGRA result was calculated as the difference in IFN-γ concentrations in the QFT Nil and TB antigen tubes. Using test results for the white rhinoceros with known infection status, a diagnostic cut-off value was calculated as 21 pg/ml. Additionally, cut-off values for IFN-γ concentrations for plasma from QFT Nil and QFT Mitogen tubes were calculated to increase confidence in IGRA result interpretation. The combination of the QFT stimulation platform and Mabtech equine IFN-γ ELISA is a promising diagnostic test to distinguish between of M. bovis-infected and -uninfected white rhinoceros.

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