Evaluation of the comparative accuracy of the complement fixation test, Western blot and five enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for serodiagnosis of glanders.
Glanders is a zoonotic contagious disease of equids caused by Burkholderia (B.) mallei. Serodiagnosis of the disease is challenging because of false-positive and false-negative test results. The accuracy of the complement fixation test (CFT) which is prescribed for international trade by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), five ELISAs and a Western blot (WB) were compared for serodiagnosis of glanders using sera from 3,000 glanders-free and 254 glanderous equids. Four ELISA tests are based on recombinant antigens (TssA, TssB, BimA and Hcp1), the IDVet ELISA is based on a semi-purified fraction of B. mallei and WB makes use of a purified LPS-containing B. mallei-antigen. Sensitivity and specificity of tests were estimated using cut-off values recommended by the test developers. The WB and all ELISAs, except BimA, were significantly more specific than the CFT. ELISAs based on TssA, TssB, and BimA antigens had significantly lower sensitivity compared to CFT while the sensitivities of the Hcp1-ELISA, the IDVet-ELISA and the WB did not differ significantly from that of the CFT. Given their comparable sensitivities and specificities, the CFT (98.0%, 96.4%), the WB (96.8%, 99.4%), the Hcp1-ELISA (95.3%, 99.6%) and the IDVet-ELISA (92.5%, 99.5%) should be further developed to meet OIE requirements.