Mannosylated lipoarabinomannan in serum as a biomarker candidate for subclinical bovine tuberculosis

Elise A. Lamont, João Ribeiro-Lima, Wade Ray Waters, Tyler Thacker, Srinand Sreevatsan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number559
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 21 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ames, IA for its generous gift of bovine tuberculosis serum samples from their well-defined repositories. We thank the University of Minnesota Dairy Group for providing bovine tuberculosis negative control serum samples. Purified AraLAM and ManLAM were obtained through the NIH Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repositories, NAID, NIH; Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv , Purified LAM (NR-14848) and Mycobacterium smegmatis, Purified LAM (NR-14849). This study was supported by the Morris Animal Foundation Wildlife Fund (D14ZO-086) and the USDA (grant 61-4056A) awarded to S.S.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Lamont et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


  • Biomarker
  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Cattle
  • Diagnostics
  • Lipoarabinomannan
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Serum
  • Subclinical Infection


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