Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible prion disease of the cervidae family. ELISA and IHC tests performed postmortem on the medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RPLN) or obex are considered diagnostic gold standards for prion detection. However, differences in CWD transmission, stage of infection, pathogenesis, and strain can limit performance. To overcome these uncertainties, we used Bayesian statistics to assess the accuracy of RT-QuIC, an increasingly used prion amplification assay, to diagnose CWD on tonsil (TLN), parotid (PLN) and submandibular lymph nodes (SMLN), and ELISA/IHC on RPLN of white-tailed deer (WTD) sampled from Minnesota. Dichotomous RT-QuIC and ELISA/IHC results from wild (n = 61) and captive (n = 46) WTD were analyzed with two-dependent-test, one-population models. RT-QuIC performed on TLN and SMLN of the wild WTD population had similar sensitivity (median range (MR): 92.2–95.1) to ELISA/IHC on RPLN (MR: 91.1–92.3). Slightly lower (4–7%) sensitivity estimates were obtained from farmed animal and PLN models. RT-QuIC specificity estimates were high (MR: 94.5–98.5%) and similar to ELISA/IHC estimates (MR: 95.7–97.6%) in all models. This study offers new insights on RT-QuIC and ELISA/IHC performance at the population level and under field conditions, an important step in CWD diagnosis and management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Molecular Biology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases