Development of a latex agglutination test with recombinant variant surface glycoprotein for serodiagnosis of surra

S Rogé, R Baelmans, F Claes, V Lejon, Yves Guisez, D Jacquet, Philippe Büscher

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Serodiagnosis of surra is commonly performed with the CATT/Trypanosoma evansi direct agglutination test. This antibody detection test is based on lyophilised bloodstream form trypanosomes propagated in rats and presenting the predominant variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) RoTat 1.2 on their surface. Recently, the N-terminal fragment of VSG RoTat 1.2 has been expressed as a recombinant protein in the yeast Pichia pastoris and showed diagnostic potential in ELISA. This recombinant antigen has now been incorporated in a latex agglutination test, the rLATEX/T. evansi. In this study, we compared the diagnostic accuracy of rLATEX/T. evansi and CATT/T. evansi with immune trypanolysis (TL) as reference test on a total of 1717 sera from camels, horses, bovines, water buffaloes, dogs and sheep. The rLATEX/T. evansi displayed a slightly better agreement with TL than CATT/T. evansi (kappa [κ] respectively 0.84 and 0.72). The sensitivities of rLATEX/T. evansi (84.2%, 95% CI 80.8-87.1) and CATT/T. evansi (84.0%, 95% CI 80.6-87.0) were similar, but rLATEX/T. evansi was significantly more specific (97.7%, 95% CI 96.7-98.4) than CATT/T. evansi (89.4%; 95% CI 87.6-91.1). We consider the rLATEX/T. evansi an alternative for the CATT/T. evansi, with the advantage that the use of a purified recombinant antigen leads to a more standardised diagnostic test with an improved specificity. Moreover, it eliminates the use of laboratory animals and can be easily scaled-up, e.g. in biofermentors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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