Background: Early and unambiguous detection of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a significant disease of cattle worldwide, is necessary to control the spread of infection to other animals and humans. Current testing strategies are laborious, time consuming and heavily reliant on host responses that do not distinguish bTB from other mycobacteria. We report the presence of a pathogen signature, liparabinomannan (LAM), as a potential biomarker for bTB infection. Findings. Fifty-five animals (uninfected [n = 33], bTb [n = 10] and exposed cases [n = 12]) from a well characterized bovine serum repository were screened for the presence of LAM using a commercially available ELISA. Analysis showed that LAM had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 91.7% for bTB detection (bTB positive versus bTB exposed animals). Conclusion: LAM detection easily separated bTB infected animals from bTB exposed and negative controls. We propose that pathogen related markers, such as LAM, should be included with current testing strategies as a battery diagnostic for bTB.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Lamont et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
- Bovine tuberculosis
- Mycobacterium bovis
- Subclinical Infection