Evaluation of a genus-specific ELISA and a commercial Aspergillus Western blot IgG ® immunoblot kit for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Guillaume Desoubeaux, Carolina Le-Bert, Vanessa Fravel, Tonya Clauss, Alexa J. Delaune, Jeny Soto, Eric D. Jensen, Jennifer E. Flower, Randall Wells, Gregory D. Bossart, Carolyn Cray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection with high mortality and morbidity rates. As in humans, its definitive diagnosis is difficult in animals, and thus new laboratory tools are required to overcome the diagnostic limitations due to low specificity and lack of standardization. In this study of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), we evaluated the diagnostic performance of a new commercial immunoblot kit that had been initially developed for the serologic diagnosis of chronic aspergillosis in humans. Using this in a quantitative approach, we first established its positive cutoff within an observation cohort of 32 serum samples from dolphins with "proven" or "probable" diagnosis of aspergillosis and 55 negative controls. A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test was also developed for detecting anti-Aspergillus antibodies, and results were compared between the two assays. Overall, the diagnostic performance of immunoblot and ELISA were strongly correlated (P <.0001). The former showed lower sensitivity (65.6% versus 90.6%), but higher specificity (92.7% vs. 69.1%), with no cross-reaction with other fungal infections caused by miscellaneous non-Aspergillus genera. When assessing their use in a validation cohort, the immunoblot kit and the ELISA enabled positive diagnosis before mycological cultures in 42.9% and 33.3% subjects addressed for suspicion of aspergillosis, respectively. There was also significant impact of antifungal treatment on the results of the two tests (P <.05). In all, these new serological methods show promise in aiding in the diagnosis of aspergillosis in dolphins, and illustrate the opportunity to adapt commercial reagents directed for human diagnostics to detect similar changes in other animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-856
Number of pages10
JournalMedical mycology
Volume56
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • blood test
  • cetaceans
  • galactomannan
  • immunoblot
  • marine mammals
  • serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases

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