Short Communication

Use of Brucella abortus species specific polymerase chain reaction assay for the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis

Songelwayo L. Chisi, Tracy Schmidt, George W. Akol, Henriette van Heerden
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 88 | a1433 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v88i0.1433 | © 2017 Songelwayo L. Chisi, Tracy Schmidt, George W. Akol, Henriette van Heerden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 May 2016 | Published: 27 September 2017

About the author(s)

Songelwayo L. Chisi, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development KwaZulu Natal Province, Allerton Provincial Veterinary Laboratory, South Africa
Tracy Schmidt, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development KwaZulu Natal Province, Allerton Provincial Veterinary Laboratory, South Africa
George W. Akol, Centre of Veterinary Excellence, Dohne Agricultural Development Institute; Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Stutterheim, South Africa
Henriette van Heerden, Department of Tropical Diseases, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Serology is primarily used in the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis. Bacterial culture and isolation is the gold standard in diagnosing brucellosis but, like serology, it does not offer complete (100%) diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been suggested to offer better specificity and sensitivity. In this study, we evaluated the performance of Brucella abortus species specific (BaSS) PCR directly from different samples in the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in naturally infected cattle in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa with known infectious status from culture. The BaSS PCR had a low diagnostic sensitivity (DSe) of 70%, but was able to identify vaccine strains using abomasal fluid from aborted foetuses and detect Brucella DNA from decomposing samples. The best sample for the BaSS PCR was abomasal fluid.

Keywords

brucella abortus; polymerase chain reaction; sensitivity; base pair

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