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Title: Development and validation of an ELISA for the detection of leptospire-specific antibodies in rodents
Authors: Vanasco, Bibiana N. 
Lottersberger, Javier 
Sequeira, M D 
Tarabla, H 
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2001
Journal: Veterinary microbiology 
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of IgG antibodies in rodents was developed and validated with the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and leptospiral cultures. Sonicated antigen from cultures of serovars tarassovi and pyrogenes was used. As conjugate, a combination of anti-rat and anti-hamster IgG labeled with peroxidase was used. The optimal cut-off point was determined by plotting the sensitivity and specificity for various cut-off point values by means of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Concordance between ELISA and each of the MAT titers was measured by kappa (kappa). Proportions of positive results were compared by means of McNemar's test. Total 214 rodents were trapped, but only 117 could be processed by the three techniques (culture, ELISA, MAT; 1:20, 1:40, 1:50) and used for statistical analysis. Although, MAT titers in rodents infected with the serogroup Ballum tended to be lower than those infected with the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, all (20/20) were ELISA-positive and almost all (19/20) were MAT-positive.The percentage of positive results obtained by ELISA, 47.0% exceeded significantly the 40.2% obtained by MAT (1:50). Difference between ELISA and MAT (1:40) was not significant and no differences were observed between ELISA and MAT (1:20). Agreement, specificity, sensitivity and the consequent area under the ROC curve between ELISA and MAT were higher as MAT cut-off points were lowered, being optimal at 1:20. The fact that differences between ELISA and MAT were significant at 1:50, but not at 1:40 or 1:20, supports the suggestion that lower MAT titers should be considered positive in rodents. The ELISA developed to detect leptospire-specific antibodies had optimal sensitivity and specificity in relation to MAT and it is concluded that it may constitute a very useful indicator for epidemiological purposes of past or present leptospiral infection in rodents.
ISSN: 0378-1135
DOI: 10.1016/s0378-1135(01)00394-7
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