Use of the rSpaA415 antigen indicates low rates of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infection in farmed cattle from the United States of America and Great Britain

Ana I. Cubas-Atienzar, Priscilla Freitas Gerber, Tanja Opriessnig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Clinical cases of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, a zoonotic gram-positive bacterium, have been reported in many ruminant species, including in cattle, deer, moose and muskoxen. Fatal cases have been repeatedly reported in cattle over the years but to date there is only one Japanese study investigating the seroprevalence of this bacterium in cattle using the growth agglutination test (GAT). This technique is subjective, time-consuming, expensive and hazardous compared to modern serological tests such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) or the newly developed fluorescent microbead-based immunoassays (FMIA).
Results
A FMIA based on the surface protein SpaA (rSpaA415) antigen of E. rhusiopathiae developed in this study had an almost perfect agreement with the GAT (k=0.83) and showed a sensitivity of 89.7% and a specificity of 92.9% when compared to the GAT. Overall, detection rates of E. rhusiopathiae antibody positive samples were 13.8% (51/370) in British herds and 6% (12/200) in US herds. Positive cattle were present in 34.3% (24/70) of the investigated British farms and in 34.7% (8/23) of the US farms with an on-farm prevalence of 7.1% to 100% for the British and 8.3-30% for the US.
Conclusions
FMIA is a fast, safe and economic alternative to the GAT for the diagnosis of E. rhusiopathiae in cattle. This work is the first seroprevalence study of E. rhusiopathiae in healthy farmed cattle in the Great Britain and the US and revealed that infection occurs at a low level. Further investigations to evaluate risks of zoonotic transmission when handling cattle are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
  • cattle
  • prevalence
  • USA
  • Great Britain
  • growth agglutination test
  • fluorescent microbead-based immunoassay
  • enzyme-linked
  • immunosorbent assay

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