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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To develop a testing algorithm that incorporates multiple assays to evaluate host cellular and humoral immunity and antigen detection concerning Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) infection in captive nonhuman primates.

ANIMALS

Cohorts of captive-bred and wild-caught macaques from 5 different geographic regions.

PROCEDURES

Macaques were tested for MTBC infection by use of a γ interferon tuberculosis (GIFT) assay, an interferon-γ release assay, and other assays. In the first 2 cohorts (n = 15 and 181), initial validation of the GIFT assay was performed by use of experimentally infected and unexposed control macaques. In the next 3 cohorts (n = 59, 42, and 11), results were obtained for opportunistically collected samples from macaques exposed during spontaneous outbreaks.

RESULTS

Sensitivity and specificity of the GIFT assay in the control cohorts were 100% and 97%, respectively, and were variable but enhanced by incorporating results from multiple assays in spontaneous outbreaks.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The detection and management of MTBC infection in captive nonhuman primate populations is an ongoing challenge, especially with animal imports and transfers. Despite standardized practices of initial quarantine with regular intradermal tuberculin skin testing, spontaneous outbreaks continue to be reported. Since infection encompasses a range of disease manifestations over time, a testing algorithm that incorporates multiple assays, such as the GIFT assay, to evaluate host cellular and humoral immunity in addition to agent detection is needed. Testing a combination of samples from controlled studies and spontaneous outbreaks of MTBC infection in nonhuman primates would advance the development and validation of a functional algorithm that incorporates promising tools such as the GIFT assay.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research