Evaluation of two Toxoplasma gondii serologic tests used in a serosurvey of domestic cats in California

Haydee A. Dabritz, Ian Gardner, Melissa A. Miller, Michael R. Lappin, Edward R Atwill, Andrea E. Packham, Ann C. Melli, Patricia A Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We evaluated the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of an IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and IgG indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) for detection of Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies in sera from 2 cat populations using a Bayesian approach. Accounting for test covariance, the Se and Sp of the IgG ELISA were estimated to be 92.6% and 96.5%, and those of the IgG IFAT were 81.0% and 93.8%, respectively. Both tests performed poorly in cats experimentally coinfected with feline immunodeficiency virus and T. gondii. Excluding this group, Se and Sp of the ELISA were virtually unchanged (92.3% and 96.4%, respectively), whereas the IFAT Se improved to 94.2% and Sp remained stable at 93.7%. These tests and an IgM ELISA were applied to 123 cat sera from the Morro Bay area, California, where high morbidity and mortality attributable to toxoplasmosis have been detected in southern sea otters. Age-adjusted IgG seroprevalence in this population was estimated to be 29.6%, and it did not differ between owned and unowned cats. Accounting for Se, Sp, and test covariances, age-adjusted seroprevalence was 45.0%. The odds for T. gondii seropositivity were 12.3-fold higher for cats aged >12 mo compared with cats aged <6 mo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-816
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology


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