Detection of Early Secretory Antigenic Target-6 Antibody for Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Non-human Primates

Ganga V. Kanaujia, Manuel A. Garcia, Donna M. Bouley, Robert Peters, Maria Laura Gennaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis is one of the most economically devastating, zoonotic infections of captive non-human primates. The limitations of the tuberculin skin test, which is currently used to diagnose tuberculosis in living non-human primates, make it necessary to find new, simple, and economical diagnostic methods. We describe use of an enzyme-linked immunoassay to detect IgG antibodies against early secretory antigenic target (ESAT)-6, a small protein secreted by virulent tubercle bacilli, in paired (pre- and post-outbreak) sera from 57 non-human primates involved in an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in a research colony. Of 25 animals with tuberculosis lesions at necropsy, 22 (88%) had high serum levels of the ESAT-6 antibody. The ESAT-6 antibody was found in 16% (5/32) of post-outbreak sera from animals in which tuberculosis could not be confirmed at necropsy. The strong association between the ESAT-6 antibody and tuberculosis in non-human primates documented in this study, together with the robustness of the serologic assay, make the ESAT-6 ELISA a valuable tool for diagnosis of tuberculosis in captive non-human primates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)602-606
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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