Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible prion disease of the cervidae family. ELISA and IHC tests performed postmortem on the medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RPLN) or obex are considered diagnostic gold standards for prion detection. However, differences in CWD transmission, stage of infection, pathogenesis, and strain can limit performance. To overcome these uncertainties, we used Bayesian statistics to assess the accuracy of RT-QuIC, an increasingly used prion amplification assay, to diagnose CWD on tonsil (TLN), parotid (PLN) and submandibular lymph nodes (SMLN), and ELISA/IHC on RPLN of white-tailed deer (WTD) sampled from Minnesota. Dichotomous RT-QuIC and ELISA/IHC results from wild (n = 61) and captive (n = 46) WTD were analyzed with two-dependent-test, one-population models. RT-QuIC performed on TLN and SMLN of the wild WTD population had similar sensitivity (median range (MR): 92.2–95.1) to ELISA/IHC on RPLN (MR: 91.1–92.3). Slightly lower (4–7%) sensitivity estimates were obtained from farmed animal and PLN models. RT-QuIC specificity estimates were high (MR: 94.5–98.5%) and similar to ELISA/IHC estimates (MR: 95.7–97.6%) in all models. This study offers new insights on RT-QuIC and ELISA/IHC performance at the population level and under field conditions, an important step in CWD diagnosis and management.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Minnesota State Legislature through the Rapid Agricultural Response Fund (RARF); Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund through the recommendation of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources; University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research. We thank the MNBAH staff, USDA staff at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, and Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory staff for kindly providing assistance with ELISA and IHC test results. We thank the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for secure data storage of computational products stemming from our work. This project would not have been possible were it not for the collection of biological samples, and we are grateful to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine staff, MNDNR Wildlife staff, MNBAH staff, and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services and Wildlife Services staff.
Funding: This research was funded by the Minnesota State Legislature through the Rapid Agricultural Response Fund (RARF); Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund through the recommendation of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources; University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- gold standard
- latent class analysis
- real-time quaking-induced conversion
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article