ABSTRACT: Tissue samples (n = 25,050 total) from 23,256 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) collected statewide in Colorado were examined for chronic wasting disease (CWD) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (brELISA), in a 2-phase study. In the validation phase of this study, a total of 4,175 retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RLN) or obex (OB) tissue samples were examined independently by brELISA and immunohistochemistry (IHC). There were 137 IHC-positive samples and 4,038 IHC-negative samples. Optical density (OD) values from brELISA were classified as "not detected" or "suspect" based on recommended cutoff values during the validation phase. Using IHC-positive cases as known CWD-infected individuals and assuming IHC-negative cases as uninfected, the relative sensitivity of brELISA depending on species ranged from 98.3% to 100% for RLN samples and 92.1% to 93.3% for OB samples; the relative specificity of brELISA depending on species ranged from 99.9% to 100% for RLN samples and was 100% for OB samples. Overall agreement between brELISA and IHC was > or = 97.6% in RLN samples and > or = 95.7% in OB samples of all species where values could be calculated; moreover, mean brELISA OD values were > or = 46X higher in IHC-positive samples than in IHC-negative samples. Discrepancies were observed only in early-stage cases of CWD. Based on the validation phase data, only RLN samples were collected for the field application phase of this study and only samples with brELISA OD values > 0.1 were examined by IHC. Among 20,875 RLN samples screened with brELISA during this second testing phase, 155 of 8,877 mule deer, 33 of 11,731 elk, and 9 of 267 white-tailed deer samples (197 total) had OD values > 0.1 and were further evaluated by IHC to confirm evidence of CWD infection. Of cases flagged for IHC follow-up, 143 of 155 mule deer, 29 of 33 elk, and all 9 white-tailed deer were confirmed positive. Mean (+/- SE) OD values for IHC-positive cases detected during the field application phase were comparable with those measured in RLN tissues during the validation phase. Based on these data, brELISA was determined to be an excellent rapid test for screening large numbers of samples in surveys designed to detect CWD infections in deer and elk populations.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc 07/2003; 15(4):311-9. · 1.21 Impact Factor