Evaluation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipoarabinomannan antigen assay and rapid serology blood test for the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis in Ethiopia

Aboma Zewude, Temesgen Mohammed, Lemma Terfassa, W. Garrett Hunt, Xueliang Pan, Joan Miquel Balada-Llasat, Wondwossen Gebreyes, Jordi B. Torrelles, Shu Hua Wang, Gobena Ameni

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is prevalent in dairy cattle in Ethiopia. Currently used diagnostic tools such as the single intradermal comparative tuberculin test (SICTT) are time consuming and labor intensive. A rapid, easy-to-use and cost-effective diagnostic test would greatly contribute to the control of bTB in developing countries like Ethiopia. In the present study, two point-of-care diagnostic tests were evaluated for the detection of bTB: LIONEX® Animal TB Rapid test, a membrane-based test for the detection of antibodies to Mycobacterium bovis in blood and ALERE® Determine TB Lipoarabinomannan (LAM) Ag, an immunoassay for the detection of lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen (Ag) of mycobacteria in urine. A combination of the SICTT and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) test was used as the gold standard for the validation of these point-of-care tests, as it was not feasible to slaughter the study animals to carry out the historical gold standard of mycobacterial culture. A total of 175 heads of cattle having three different bTB infection categories (positive SICTT, negative SICTT, and unknown SICTT status) were used for this study. Result: The sensitivity and specificity of TB LAM Ag were 72.2% (95% CI = 62.2, 80.4) and 98.8% (95% CI = 93.6, 99.7), respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity of the LIONEX Animal TB rapid test assay were 54% (95% CI = 44.1 64.3) and 98.8% (95% CI = 93.6, 99.7) respectively. The agreement between TB LAM Ag and SICTT was higher (κ = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.65-0.94) than between TB LAM Ag and IFN-γ(κ = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.52-0.81). The agreement between LIONEX Animals TB Rapid blood test and SICTT was substantial, (κ = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.49-0.77) while the agreement between LIONEX Animal TB rapid blood test and IFN-γtest was moderate (κ = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.40-0.67). Analysis of receiver operating curve (ROC) indicated that the area under the ROC curve (AUC) for TB LAM Ag was 0.85 (95% CI = 0.79-0.91) while it was 0.76 (95% CI; =0.69-0.83) for LIONEX Animal TB rapid test assay. Conclusion: This study showed that TB LAM Ag had a better diagnostic performance and could potentially be used as ancillary either to SICTT or IFN-γtest for diagnosis of bTB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number359
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Diagnostic performance
  • Ethiopia
  • LIONEX animal TB rapid
  • TB LAM antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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