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ABSTRACT: A Bayesian latent class model was used to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of an immunoglobulin G1 serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Paralisa) and individual fecal culture to detect young deer infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Paired fecal and serum samples were collected, between July 2009 and April 2010, from 20 individual yearling (12-24-month-old) deer in each of 20 South Island and 18 North Island herds in New Zealand and subjected to culture and Paralisa, respectively. Two fecal samples and 16 serum samples from 356 North Island deer, and 55 fecal and 37 serum samples from 401 South Island deer, were positive. The estimate of individual fecal culture sensitivity was 77% (95% credible interval [CI] = 61-92%) with specificity of 99% (95% CI = 98-99.7%). The Paralisa sensitivity estimate was 19% (95% CI = 10-30%), with specificity of 94% (95% CI = 93-96%). All estimates were robust to variation of priors and assumptions tested in a sensitivity analysis. The data informs the use of the tests in determining infection status at the individual and herd level.
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