Diagnostic performance of ELISA, IFAT and Western blot for the detection of anti-Leishmania infantum antibodies in cats using a Bayesian analysis without a gold standard

Maria Flaminia Persichetti, Laia Solano-Gallego, Angela Vullo, Marisa Masucci, Pierre Marty, Pascal Delaunay, Fabrizio Vitale, Maria Grazia Pennisi

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Anti-Leishmania antibodies are increasingly investigated in cats for epidemiological studies or for the diagnosis of clinical feline leishmaniosis. The immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT), the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blot (WB) are the serological tests more frequently used. The aim of the present study was to assess diagnostic performance of IFAT, ELISA and WB to detect anti-L. infantum antibodies in feline serum samples obtained from endemic (n = 76) and non-endemic (n = 64) areas and from cats affected by feline leishmaniosis (n = 21) by a Bayesian approach without a gold standard. Methods: Cut-offs were set at 80 titre for IFAT and 40 ELISA units for ELISA. WB was considered positive in presence of at least a 18 KDa band. Statistical analysis was performed through a written routine with MATLAB software in the Bayesian framework. The latent data and observations from the joint posterior were simulated in the Bayesian approach by an iterative Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique using the Gibbs sampler for estimating sensitivity and specificity of the three tests. Results: The median seroprevalence in the sample used for evaluating the performance of tests was estimated at 0.27 [credible interval (CI) = 0.20-0.34]. The median sensitivity of the three different methods was 0.97 (CI: 0.86-1.00), 0.75 (CI: 0.61-0.87) and 0.70 (CI: 0.56-0.83) for WB, IFAT and ELISA, respectively. Median specificity reached 0.99 (CI: 0.96-1.00) with WB, 0.97 (CI: 0.93-0.99) with IFAT and 0.98 (CI: 0.94-1.00) with ELISA. IFAT was more sensitive than ELISA (75 vs 70%) for the detection of subclinical infection while ELISA was better for diagnosing clinical leishmaniosis when compared with IFAT (98 vs 97%). Conclusions: The overall performance of all serological techniques was good and the most accurate test for anti-Leishmania antibody detection in feline serum samples was WB.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Bayesian analysis
  • Cat
  • Diagnostic performance
  • ELISA
  • Gold standard
  • IFAT
  • Leishmania
  • Leishmaniosis
  • Serological diagnosis
  • Western blot

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