Walter Lilenbaum; Rachel Ferreira; Carla Dray Marassi; Paula Ristow; Walter Martins Roland Oelemann; Leila de Souza Fonseca
Forty-four cows from five herds infected with tuberculosis (TB) and without paratuberculosis (PTB), and 21 cows from a herd without either infection were studied. The cattle presented concordant results in both the skin test and γ-interferon assay for TB and two commercial ELISAs for PTB. Animals were divided according to TB test results into Group A with 28 TB-infected animals, Group B with 16 TB-negative animals from infected herds, and Group C with 21 TB-negative cows from a tuberculosis-free herd (which were used as controls). Twenty of 28 animals from Group A (71.4%), 6/16 from Group B (37.5%) and none from Group C were reactive to PTB ELISAs, suggesting that these commercial kits were unable to distinguish between PTB and TB. It is proposed that natural occurring TB strongly interferes in the diagnosis of PTB and that commercial ELISAs cannot be considered reliable tools in the diagnosis of paratuberculosis in tuberculosis-infected herds.
Key words: Paratuberculosis, Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis