The presence of Mycobacterium bovis
and other members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis
complex (MTC) is a main concern in wildlife populations such as the Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa
). Tests detecting antibodies against the MTC are valuable for tuberculosis (TB) monitoring and control and particularly useful in suids. The development of accurate, efficient, and non-invasive new tools to detect exposure to MTC would be highly beneficial for improving disease surveillance. This study aimed to determine if antibodies against MTC could be detected in oral fluid (OF) samples by a new ELISA test (IgG detection) from naturally TB-infected wild boar. For this, individual, paired serum and OF samples were collected from 148 live wild boar in two TB-status areas from Spain and quantitatively used to validate the new ELISA test. Antibodies against MTC were widely detected in OF samples, for which a significant positive correlation (r
= 0.83) was found with the validated serology test. OF ELISA sensitivity and specificity were 67.3% and 100%, respectively. The results of this work suggest that OF samples have the potential to be used for MTC diagnosis as a further step in TB surveillance and control in suid populations. Based on our results, further research is warranted and could be performed using non-invasive new tools directly in field conditions to detect exposure to MTC.
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