Use of western immunoblot analysis for testing moose serum for Brucella suis biovar 4 specific antibodies

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To determine if 12 moose (Alces alces) from northern Alaska with agglutinating antibodies specific for Brucella spp. had been exposed to either B. suis biovar 4 or B. abortus biovar 1, western immunoblot serologic analysis was performed. Differential serologic responses to strain specific A and M antigenic variances of the lipopolysaccharide O-polysaccharide sugar allowed strain identification. Prior to examination, test sera were absorbed with killed whole cells from either B. abortus biovar 1, containing predominately A antigen (A+ M-); B. melitensis biovar 1, containing essentially M antigen (A-M+); or B. suis biovar 4, containing both antigenic types (A+ M+). The resulting sera were then examined by western immunoblot for recognition of either B. abortus biovar 1, B. melitensis biovar 1, or B. suis biovar 4 cell lysates. The results of this study indicate that these moose were exposed to B. suis biovar 4, a known pathogen of caribou (Rangifer taranHIIS) from arctic Alaska.

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Journal of Wildlife Diseases

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