Prevalence of Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in Wild Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Coproantigen ELISA Is a Practicable Alternative to Faecal Egg Counting for Surveillance in Remote Populations

Andrew French, Ruth N. Zadoks, Philip J. Skuce, Gillian Mitchell, Danielle K. Gordon-gibbs, Alexandra Craine, David Shaw, Stuart W. Gibb, Mark A. Taggart

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Abstract

Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are hosts of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica); yet, prevalence is rarely quantified in wild populations. Testing fresh samples from remote regions by faecal examination (FE) can be logistically challenging; hence, we appraise frozen storage and the use of a coproantigen ELISA (cELISA) for F. hepatica surveillance. We also present cELISA surveillance data for red deer from the Highlands of Scotland. Diagnoses in faecal samples (207 frozen, 146 fresh) were compared using a cELISA and by FE. For each storage method (frozen or fresh), agreement between the two diagnostics was estimated at individual and population levels, where population prevalence was stratified into cohorts (e.g., by sampling location). To approximate sensitivity and specificity, 65 post-slaughter whole liver examinations were used as a reference. At the individual level, FE and cELISA diagnoses agreed moderately (κfrozen = 0.46; κfresh = 0.51), a likely reflection of their underlying principles. At the population level, FE and cELISA cohort prevalence correlated strongly (Pearson’s R = 0.89, p < 0.0001), reflecting good agreement on relative differences between cohort prevalence. In frozen samples, prevalence by cELISA exceeded FE overall (42.8% vs. 25.8%) and in 9/12 cohorts, alluding to differences in sensitivity; though, in fresh samples, no significant difference was found. In 959 deer tested by cELISA across the Scottish Highlands, infection prevalence ranged from 9.6% to 53% by sampling location. We highlight two key advantages of cELISA over FE: i) the ability to store samples long term (frozen) without apparent loss in diagnostic power; and ii) reduced labour and the ability to process large batches. Further evaluation of cELISA sensitivity in red deer, where a range of fluke burdens can be obtained, is desirable. In the interim, the cELISA is a practicable diagnostic for F. hepatica surveillance in red deer, and its application here has revealed considerable geographic, temporal, sex and age related differences in F. hepatica prevalence in wild Scottish Highland red deer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0162420
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2016

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coproantigens
liver flukes
Fasciola hepatica
Deer
Cervus elaphus
Liver
Ovum
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Sampling
monitoring
Population
Personnel
Testing
highlands
sampling
Trematoda
flukes
frozen storage
Scotland

Cite this

French, Andrew ; Zadoks, Ruth N. ; Skuce, Philip J. ; Mitchell, Gillian ; Gordon-gibbs, Danielle K. ; Craine, Alexandra ; Shaw, David ; Gibb, Stuart W. ; Taggart, Mark A. / Prevalence of Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in Wild Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Coproantigen ELISA Is a Practicable Alternative to Faecal Egg Counting for Surveillance in Remote Populations. In: PLoS ONE. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 9. pp. e0162420.
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abstract = "Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are hosts of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica); yet, prevalence is rarely quantified in wild populations. Testing fresh samples from remote regions by faecal examination (FE) can be logistically challenging; hence, we appraise frozen storage and the use of a coproantigen ELISA (cELISA) for F. hepatica surveillance. We also present cELISA surveillance data for red deer from the Highlands of Scotland. Diagnoses in faecal samples (207 frozen, 146 fresh) were compared using a cELISA and by FE. For each storage method (frozen or fresh), agreement between the two diagnostics was estimated at individual and population levels, where population prevalence was stratified into cohorts (e.g., by sampling location). To approximate sensitivity and specificity, 65 post-slaughter whole liver examinations were used as a reference. At the individual level, FE and cELISA diagnoses agreed moderately (κfrozen = 0.46; κfresh = 0.51), a likely reflection of their underlying principles. At the population level, FE and cELISA cohort prevalence correlated strongly (Pearson’s R = 0.89, p < 0.0001), reflecting good agreement on relative differences between cohort prevalence. In frozen samples, prevalence by cELISA exceeded FE overall (42.8{\%} vs. 25.8{\%}) and in 9/12 cohorts, alluding to differences in sensitivity; though, in fresh samples, no significant difference was found. In 959 deer tested by cELISA across the Scottish Highlands, infection prevalence ranged from 9.6{\%} to 53{\%} by sampling location. We highlight two key advantages of cELISA over FE: i) the ability to store samples long term (frozen) without apparent loss in diagnostic power; and ii) reduced labour and the ability to process large batches. Further evaluation of cELISA sensitivity in red deer, where a range of fluke burdens can be obtained, is desirable. In the interim, the cELISA is a practicable diagnostic for F. hepatica surveillance in red deer, and its application here has revealed considerable geographic, temporal, sex and age related differences in F. hepatica prevalence in wild Scottish Highland red deer.",
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Prevalence of Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in Wild Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Coproantigen ELISA Is a Practicable Alternative to Faecal Egg Counting for Surveillance in Remote Populations. / French, Andrew; Zadoks, Ruth N.; Skuce, Philip J.; Mitchell, Gillian; Gordon-gibbs, Danielle K.; Craine, Alexandra; Shaw, David; Gibb, Stuart W.; Taggart, Mark A.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 11, No. 9, 06.09.2016, p. e0162420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Prevalence of Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in Wild Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Coproantigen ELISA Is a Practicable Alternative to Faecal Egg Counting for Surveillance in Remote Populations

AU - French, Andrew

AU - Zadoks, Ruth N.

AU - Skuce, Philip J.

AU - Mitchell, Gillian

AU - Gordon-gibbs, Danielle K.

AU - Craine, Alexandra

AU - Shaw, David

AU - Gibb, Stuart W.

AU - Taggart, Mark A.

N1 - Copyright: © 2016 French et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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N2 - Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are hosts of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica); yet, prevalence is rarely quantified in wild populations. Testing fresh samples from remote regions by faecal examination (FE) can be logistically challenging; hence, we appraise frozen storage and the use of a coproantigen ELISA (cELISA) for F. hepatica surveillance. We also present cELISA surveillance data for red deer from the Highlands of Scotland. Diagnoses in faecal samples (207 frozen, 146 fresh) were compared using a cELISA and by FE. For each storage method (frozen or fresh), agreement between the two diagnostics was estimated at individual and population levels, where population prevalence was stratified into cohorts (e.g., by sampling location). To approximate sensitivity and specificity, 65 post-slaughter whole liver examinations were used as a reference. At the individual level, FE and cELISA diagnoses agreed moderately (κfrozen = 0.46; κfresh = 0.51), a likely reflection of their underlying principles. At the population level, FE and cELISA cohort prevalence correlated strongly (Pearson’s R = 0.89, p < 0.0001), reflecting good agreement on relative differences between cohort prevalence. In frozen samples, prevalence by cELISA exceeded FE overall (42.8% vs. 25.8%) and in 9/12 cohorts, alluding to differences in sensitivity; though, in fresh samples, no significant difference was found. In 959 deer tested by cELISA across the Scottish Highlands, infection prevalence ranged from 9.6% to 53% by sampling location. We highlight two key advantages of cELISA over FE: i) the ability to store samples long term (frozen) without apparent loss in diagnostic power; and ii) reduced labour and the ability to process large batches. Further evaluation of cELISA sensitivity in red deer, where a range of fluke burdens can be obtained, is desirable. In the interim, the cELISA is a practicable diagnostic for F. hepatica surveillance in red deer, and its application here has revealed considerable geographic, temporal, sex and age related differences in F. hepatica prevalence in wild Scottish Highland red deer.

AB - Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are hosts of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica); yet, prevalence is rarely quantified in wild populations. Testing fresh samples from remote regions by faecal examination (FE) can be logistically challenging; hence, we appraise frozen storage and the use of a coproantigen ELISA (cELISA) for F. hepatica surveillance. We also present cELISA surveillance data for red deer from the Highlands of Scotland. Diagnoses in faecal samples (207 frozen, 146 fresh) were compared using a cELISA and by FE. For each storage method (frozen or fresh), agreement between the two diagnostics was estimated at individual and population levels, where population prevalence was stratified into cohorts (e.g., by sampling location). To approximate sensitivity and specificity, 65 post-slaughter whole liver examinations were used as a reference. At the individual level, FE and cELISA diagnoses agreed moderately (κfrozen = 0.46; κfresh = 0.51), a likely reflection of their underlying principles. At the population level, FE and cELISA cohort prevalence correlated strongly (Pearson’s R = 0.89, p < 0.0001), reflecting good agreement on relative differences between cohort prevalence. In frozen samples, prevalence by cELISA exceeded FE overall (42.8% vs. 25.8%) and in 9/12 cohorts, alluding to differences in sensitivity; though, in fresh samples, no significant difference was found. In 959 deer tested by cELISA across the Scottish Highlands, infection prevalence ranged from 9.6% to 53% by sampling location. We highlight two key advantages of cELISA over FE: i) the ability to store samples long term (frozen) without apparent loss in diagnostic power; and ii) reduced labour and the ability to process large batches. Further evaluation of cELISA sensitivity in red deer, where a range of fluke burdens can be obtained, is desirable. In the interim, the cELISA is a practicable diagnostic for F. hepatica surveillance in red deer, and its application here has revealed considerable geographic, temporal, sex and age related differences in F. hepatica prevalence in wild Scottish Highland red deer.

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