Bayesian estimation of test characteristics of real-time PCR, bacteriological culture and California mastitis test for diagnosis of intramammary infections with <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> in dairy cattle at routine milk recordings
1 Section for Production and Health, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Population Biology, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Knowledge Centre for Agriculture , Aarhus5 Eurofins Steins Laboratory, Holstebro6 Section for Production and Health, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet7 Population Biology, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Danish farmers can order a real-time PCR mastitis diagnostic test on routinely takencow-level samples from milk recordings. Validation of its performance in comparison toconventional mastitis diagnostics under field conditions is essential for efficient control ofintramammary infections (IMI) with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Therefore, the objec-tive of this study was to estimate the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of real-time PCR,bacterial culture (BC) and California mastitis test (CMT) for the diagnosis of the naturallyoccurring IMI with S. aureus in routinely collected milk samples using latent class anal-ysis (LCA) to avoid the assumption of a perfect reference test. Using systematic randomsampling, a total of 609 lactating dairy cows were selected from 6 dairy herds with bulktank milk PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value ≤39 for S. aureus. At routine milk recordings, auto-matically obtained cow-level (composite) milk samples were analyzed by PCR and at thesame milking, 2436 quarter milk samples were collected aseptically for BC and CMT. Resultsshowed that 140 cows (23%) were positive for S. aureus IMI by BC while 170 cows (28%)were positive by PCR. Estimates of Se and Sp for PCR were higher than test estimates of BCand CMT. SeCMTwas higher than SeBChowever, SpBCwas higher than SpCMT. SePCRwas 91%,while SeBCwas 53%, and SeCMTwas 61%. SpPCRwas 99%, while SpBCwas 89%, and SpCMTwas65%.In conclusion, PCR has a higher performance than the conventional diagnostic tests (BCand CMT) suggesting its usefulness as a routine test for accurate diagnosis of S. aureus IMIfrom dairy cows at routine milk recordings. The use of LCA provided estimates of the testcharacteristics for two currently diagnostic tests (BC, CMT) and a novel technique (real-time PCR) for diagnosing S. aureus IMI under field conditions at routine milk recordings inDenmark.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2013, Vol 112, Issue 3-4, p. 309-317