Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, P O Box 35252, College of Veterinary Medicine and
Animal Resources, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31983, Saudi Arabia
Mycobacterium avium subspecies Paratuberculosis infection is chronic disease that infect young animals and remains undetected for long period. The immune responses to the disease is characterised by the cell mediated immunity at the early stage while antibody response dominates the late stage of the infection. Early detection of the disease is vital to prevent its transmission to the susceptible animals. ELISA was seen one the sensitive tests in detection of the disease. The application of bovine test in detecting the disease was sought to unravel its versatility in camel. 95 serum samples [2-3 years-old (3 samples), 4-6 years-old (21 samples), 7-9 years old (24 samples) and 10-15 years-old (47 samples)] were collected from dromedary camels. The analysis of serum samples with commercial ELISA indicated only 8 positive (8.4%) and one inconclusive samples. The positive samples were restricted to older ages (7-9 years-old and 10-15 years-old). Despite the emaciation of few animals, the postmortem revealed no significant changes in intestine. The results proved that bovine ELISA is feasible in detecting anti-MAP antibodies in camel. However, the limitation of the ELISA sensitivity in detecting the infection in young animals will leave wide range of infected young animals undetected. The results encourage the application of ELISA concurrent with PCR and/or faecal culture in study of MAP infection prevalence in camel in Saudi Arabia.
Key words: Bovine ELISA, camel, Mycobacterium avium subspecies Paratuberculosis