Identification of new antigen candidates for the early diagnosis of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in goats

Armel Souriau, Sandrine Freret, Benjamin Foret, Peter T.J. Willemsen, Douwe Bakker, Laurence A. Guilloteau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Currently Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection is diagnosed through indirect tests based on the immune response induced by the infection. The antigens commonly used in IFN-γ release assays (IGRA) are purified protein derivative tuberculins (PPD). However, PPDs, lack both specificity (Sp) and sensitivity (Se) in the early phase of infection. This study investigated the potential of 16 MAP recombinant proteins and five lipids to elicit the release of IFN-γ in goats from herds with or without a history of paratuberculosis. Ten recombinant proteins were selected as potential candidates for the detection of MAP infection in young goats. They were found to detect 25 to 75% of infected shedder (IS) and infected non-shedder (INS) kids younger than 10 months of age. In comparison, PPD was shown to detect only 10% of INS and no IS kids. For seven antigens, Se (21–33%) and Sp (≥ 90%) of IGRA were shown to be comparable with PPD at 20 months old. Only three antigens were suitable candidates to detect IS adult goats, although Se was lower than that obtained with PPD. In paratuberculosis-free herds, IGRA results were negative in 97% of indoor goats and 86% of outdoor goats using the 10 antigens. However, 22 to 44% of one-year-old outdoor goats were positive suggesting that they may be infected. In conclusion, this study showed that ten MAP recombinant proteins are potential candidates for early detection of MAP infected goats. Combining these antigens could form a possible set of MAP antigens to optimize the Se of caprine IGRA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-287
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Antigen
  • Early diagnosis
  • Goat
  • IFN-γ
  • Johne's disease
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis
  • Paratuberculosis


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