The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of bacterial culture of feces and serum ELISA to correctly identify cows with Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) at heavy, light, and non-fecal-shedding levels. A total of 29,785 parallel test results from bacterial culture of feces and serum ELISA were collected from 17 dairy herds in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Samples were obtained from adult cows from dairy herds enrolled for up to 10 yr in the National Johne's Disease Demonstration Herd Project. A Bayesian latent class model was fitted to estimate the probabilities that bacterial culture of feces (using 72-h sedimentation or 30-min centrifugation methods) and serum ELISA results correctly identified cows as high positive, low positive, or negative given that cows were heavy, light, and non-shedders, respectively. The model assumed that no gold standard test was available and conditional independency existed between diagnostic tests. The estimated conditional probabilities that bacterial culture of feces correctly identified heavy shedders, light shedders, and non-shedders were 70.9, 32.0, and 98.5%, respectively. The same values for the serum ELISA were 60.6, 18.7, and 99.5%, respectively. Differences in diagnostic test performance were observed among states. These results improve the interpretation of results from bacterial culture of feces and serum ELISA for detection of MAP and MAP antibody (respectively), which can support on-farm infection control decisions and can be used to evaluate disease-testing strategies, taking into account the accuracy of these tests.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services (Fort Collins, CO) and the Johne’s Disease Integrated Program funded by USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (Washington, DC) for providing the data and funding for this study. We are also grateful to Polychronis Kostoulas (University of Thessaly, Greece) for his constructive comments about the latent-class model.
© 2015 American Dairy Science Association.
- Dairy cow
- Diagnostic test
- Fecal shedding