Parasitology international

Serodiagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection in farm animals (horses, swine, and sheep) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using chimeric antigens.

PMID 25817245


Toxoplasma gondii infects all warm-blooded animals including humans, causing serious public health problems and great economic loss in the animal husbandry. Commonly used serological tests for diagnosis of toxoplasmosis involve preparation of whole Toxoplasma lysate antigen (TLA) from tachyzoites. The production of this antigen is associated with high costs and lengthy preparation and the possibility of staff infection. There are also some difficulties in the standardization of such tests. One approach in order to improve the diagnosis of T. gondii infection is to use recombinant chimeric antigens in place of the TLA, which was confirmed by studies in the serodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis in humans. In this paper, we assess, for the first time, the diagnostic utility of five T. gondii recombinant chimeric antigens (MIC1-MAG1-SAG1S, SAG1L-MIC1-MAG1, SAG2-GRA1-ROP1S, SAG2-GRA1-ROP1L, and GRA1-GRA2-GRA6) in immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (IgG ELISAs) with sera from three different groups of livestock animals (horses, pigs, and sheep). The reactivity of individual chimeric antigens was analyzed in relation to the results obtained in IgG ELISAs based on a mixture of three antigens (M1: rSAG1+rMIC1+rMAG1, M2: rSAG2+rGRA1+rROP1, and M3: rGRA1+rGRA2+rGRA6) and referenced to TLA. All chimeric antigens were characterized by high specificity (100%), and the sensitivity of the IgG ELISAs based on chimeric antigens was variable (between 28.4% and 100%) and mainly dependent on the animal species. The chimeric antigens were generally more reactive than mixtures of three antigens. The most effective for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis was SAG2-GRA1-ROP1L, which can detect specific anti-T. gondii antibodies in 100%, 93.8%, and 100% of positive serum samples from horses, pigs, and sheep, respectively. The present study shows that recombinant chimeric antigens can be successfully used to diagnose T. gondii infection in farm animals, and can replace the commonly used TLA.