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Recombinant expression and use in serology of a specific fragment from the Cowdria ruminantium MAP1 protein

Van Vliet A.H.M., Van Der Zeijst B.A.M., Camus E., Mahan S.M., Martinez D., Jongejan F.. 1996. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 791 (1) : p. 35-45. Symposium on Vector-Borne Pathogens: Challenges for the 21st Century and International Trade and Animal Diseases. 3, 1995-05-08/1995-05-12, San José (Costa Rica).

The major antigenic protein (MAPI) of Cowdria ruminantium was screened for immunogenic regions by expression of overlapping recombinant DNA clones of the gene encoding the MAP1 protein. Two regions, designated MAP1-A and MAP1-B, were recognized by all antisera to 9 different isolates of C. ruminantium. MAP1 -A contained one or more epitopes responsible for false-positive reactions with Ehrlichia antisera in several serological tests for cowdriosis. Cross-reactivity with MAP1-B was limited to antisera to Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia canis. Antisera to Ehrlichia species that infect ruminants (E. bovis, E. ovina, and E. phagocytophila) did not recognize MAP1-B. The sensitivity of an indirect ELISA based on MAP1-B was found to be excellent, since all sera from animals experimentally infected with C. ruminantium (64 out of 64) reacted with MAP1-B. Validation of this ELISA was carried out with field sera obtained from sheep raised in heartwater-free areas in Zimbabwe and from several Caribbean islands. Only 9 out of II I samples from Zimbabwe, and 1 out of 58 samples from the Caribbean islands, which were considered to be false positives by immunoblot or indirect ELISA, reacted with MAP1-B. Thus, the ELISA based on MAP1-B is at present the most specific and sensitive serological test for cowdriosis.

Mots-clés : recombinaison; clonage moléculaire; technique immunologique; ehrlichia ruminantium; caraïbes; zimbabwe

Thématique : Organismes nuisibles des animaux

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