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Fluorescent bead-based serological detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in chickens

Abstract : Background: Free-ranging chickens are often infected with Toxoplasma gondii and seroconvert upon infection. This indicates environmental contamination with T. gondii. Methods: Here, we established a bead-based multiplex assay (BBMA) using the Luminex technology for the detection of T. gondii infections in chickens. Recombinant biotinylated T. gondii surface antigen 1 (TgSAG1 bio) bound to streptavidin-conjugated magnetic Luminex beads served as antigen. Serum antibodies were detected by a fluorophore-coupled secondary antibody. Beads of differing color codes were conjugated with anti-chicken IgY or chicken serum albumin and served for each sample as an internal positive or negative control, respectively. The assay was validated with sera from experimentally and naturally infected chickens. The results were compared to those from reference methods, including other serological tests, PCRs and bioassay in mice. Results: In experimentally infected chickens, the vast majority (98.5%, n = 65/66) of birds tested seropositive in the BBMA. This included all chickens positive by magnetic-capture PCR (100%, n = 45/45). Most, but not all inoculated and TgSAG1 bio-BBMA-positive chickens were also positive in two previously established TgSAG1-ELISAs (TgSAG1-ELISA SL , n = 61/65; or TgSAG1-ELISA SH , n = 60/65), or positive in an immunofluorescence assay (IFAT, n = 64/65) and in a modified agglutination test (MAT, n = 61/65). All non-inoculated control animals (n = 28/28, 100%) tested negative. In naturally exposed chickens, the TgSAG1 bio-BBMA showed a high sensitivity (98.5%; 95% confidence interval, CI: 90.7-99.9%) and specificity (100%; 95% CI: 85.0-100%) relative to a reference standard established using ELISA, IFAT and MAT. Almost all naturally exposed chickens that were positive in bioassay or by PCR tested positive in the TgSAG1 bio-BBMA (93.5%; 95% CI: 77.1-98.9%), while all bioassay-or PCR-negative chickens remained negative (100%; 95% CI: 85.0-100%). Conclusions: The TgSAG1 bio-BBMA represents a suitable method for the detection of T. gondii infections in chickens with high sensitivity and specificity, which is comparable or even superior to other tests. Since assays based on this methodology allow for the simultaneous analysis of a single biological sample with respect to multiple analytes, the described assay may represent a component in future multiplex assays for broad serological monitoring of poultry and other farm animals for various pathogens.
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https://hal.univ-reims.fr/hal-03080245
Contributor : Laurence Dubois <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 3:47:03 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 23, 2020 - 3:33:00 AM

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Benedikt Fabian, Fatima Hedar, Martin Koethe, Berit Bangoura, Pavlo Maksimov, et al.. Fluorescent bead-based serological detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in chickens. Parasites & Vectors, 2020, 13 (1), ⟨10.1186/s13071-020-04244-6⟩. ⟨hal-03080245⟩

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