Sensitivity and specificity of western blot testing of cerebrospinal fluid and serum for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses with and without neurologic abnormalities

Barbara M. Daft, Bradd C. Barr, Ian Gardner, Deryck Read, William Bell, Karen G. Peyser, Alex Ardans, Hailu Kinde, Jennifer K. Morrow

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Abstract

Objective - To determine sensitivity and specificity of western blot testing (WBT) of CSF and serum for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses with and without neurologic abnormalities. Design - Prospective investigation. Animals - 65 horses with and 169 horses without neurologic abnormalities. Procedure - CSF and serum from horses submitted for necropsy were tested for Sarcocystis neuronaspecific antibody with a WBT. Results of postmortem examination were used as the gold standard against which results of the WBT were compared. Results - Sensitivity of WBT of CSF was 87% for horses with and 88% for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Specificity of WBT of CSF was 44% for horses with and 60% for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Regardless of whether horses did or did not have neurologic abnormalities, sensitivity and specificity of WBT of serum were not significantly different from values for WBT of CSF. Ninety-four horses without EPM had histologic evidence of slight CNS inflammation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - The low specificity of WBT of CSF indicated that it is inappropriate to diagnose EPM on the basis of a positive test result alone because of the possibility of false-positive test results. The high sensitivity, however, means that a negative result is useful in ruling out EPM. There was no advantage in testing CSF versus serum in horses without neurologic abnormalities. Slight CNS inflammation was common in horses with and without S neurona-specific antibodies in the CSF and should not be considered an indication of CNS infection with S neurona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1013
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume221
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

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equine protozoal myeloencephalitis
Nervous System Malformations
Encephalomyelitis
cerebrospinal fluid
nervous system
Horses
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Western blotting
Western Blotting
horses
Sensitivity and Specificity
Serum
testing
necropsy
inflammation
Sarcocystis
antibodies
Inflammation
gold
Antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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Sensitivity and specificity of western blot testing of cerebrospinal fluid and serum for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses with and without neurologic abnormalities. / Daft, Barbara M.; Barr, Bradd C.; Gardner, Ian; Read, Deryck; Bell, William; Peyser, Karen G.; Ardans, Alex; Kinde, Hailu; Morrow, Jennifer K.

In: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 221, No. 7, 01.10.2002, p. 1007-1013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Objective - To determine sensitivity and specificity of western blot testing (WBT) of CSF and serum for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses with and without neurologic abnormalities. Design - Prospective investigation. Animals - 65 horses with and 169 horses without neurologic abnormalities. Procedure - CSF and serum from horses submitted for necropsy were tested for Sarcocystis neuronaspecific antibody with a WBT. Results of postmortem examination were used as the gold standard against which results of the WBT were compared. Results - Sensitivity of WBT of CSF was 87{\%} for horses with and 88{\%} for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Specificity of WBT of CSF was 44{\%} for horses with and 60{\%} for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Regardless of whether horses did or did not have neurologic abnormalities, sensitivity and specificity of WBT of serum were not significantly different from values for WBT of CSF. Ninety-four horses without EPM had histologic evidence of slight CNS inflammation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - The low specificity of WBT of CSF indicated that it is inappropriate to diagnose EPM on the basis of a positive test result alone because of the possibility of false-positive test results. The high sensitivity, however, means that a negative result is useful in ruling out EPM. There was no advantage in testing CSF versus serum in horses without neurologic abnormalities. Slight CNS inflammation was common in horses with and without S neurona-specific antibodies in the CSF and should not be considered an indication of CNS infection with S neurona.",
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AU - Daft, Barbara M.

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AU - Read, Deryck

AU - Bell, William

AU - Peyser, Karen G.

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AU - Kinde, Hailu

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AB - Objective - To determine sensitivity and specificity of western blot testing (WBT) of CSF and serum for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses with and without neurologic abnormalities. Design - Prospective investigation. Animals - 65 horses with and 169 horses without neurologic abnormalities. Procedure - CSF and serum from horses submitted for necropsy were tested for Sarcocystis neuronaspecific antibody with a WBT. Results of postmortem examination were used as the gold standard against which results of the WBT were compared. Results - Sensitivity of WBT of CSF was 87% for horses with and 88% for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Specificity of WBT of CSF was 44% for horses with and 60% for horses without neurologic abnormalities. Regardless of whether horses did or did not have neurologic abnormalities, sensitivity and specificity of WBT of serum were not significantly different from values for WBT of CSF. Ninety-four horses without EPM had histologic evidence of slight CNS inflammation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - The low specificity of WBT of CSF indicated that it is inappropriate to diagnose EPM on the basis of a positive test result alone because of the possibility of false-positive test results. The high sensitivity, however, means that a negative result is useful in ruling out EPM. There was no advantage in testing CSF versus serum in horses without neurologic abnormalities. Slight CNS inflammation was common in horses with and without S neurona-specific antibodies in the CSF and should not be considered an indication of CNS infection with S neurona.

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