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A conglutination test for rapid detection of antibodies against Babesia bigemina

Teste de conglutinação rápida para detecção de anticorpos contra Babesia bigemina

Claudio R. Madruga Raul H. Kessler Maria A. M. Schenk Midori Miguita About the authors

A rapid conglutination test (RCT) with performance comparable to the indirect fluorescent antibody technique (IFAT) was developed to detect antibodies against Babesia bigemina (B. bigemina-RCT). The B. bigemina-RCT is a sensitive, specific, economical, and rapidly performed serological test suitable for field application or minimally equipped laboratories. This test had a sensitivity of 90.9%, and specificity of 97.6%, compared to IFAT, which showed for the same parameters respectively, 98.3% and 99.7%. The early detection of anti- B. bigemina immunoglobulins by RCT in experimental infections was nearly parallel to that of IFAT. Cross reactions were observed with sera from calves experimentally infected with Babesia bovis (1.8%) and with Anaplasma marginale (1.2%). RCT antigen prepared with non parasitized erythrocytes (negative antigen) showed 1.5%, 3.5% and 2.2% of positive reactions with sera from animals experimentally infected with B. bigemina, B. bovis and A. marginale. However, none of the sera from animals of endemic areas for babesia infection resulted in positive reactions with the negative antigen. Considering these results and shelf life over six months, the B. bigemina-RCT could be used for epidemiological surveys and evaluation of control measures against this species of Babesia.

Babesia bigemina; antibodies; serological test; conglutination

Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil