Brucellosis canis

Caroline Blower made this Freedom of Information request to Animal and Plant Health Agency Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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Dear Animal and Plant Health Agency,

Please treat this as a FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST under the relevant UK legislation. I am using my real name to request this information.

I follow the social media Facebook group Brucella Canis RVN and I have become aware that another type of Indirect ELISA that underwent validation, also looked to see if their test reported false positives for dogs infected with a range of infectious diseases. These diseases included: Leishmania chagasi, Ehrlichia canis, Babesia canis, Leptospira species, Neospora canis and canine distemper virus (CDV) infection.

This study can be found here:
De Oliveira, MZD., et al. 2011. Validation of an ELISA method for the serological diagnosis of canine brucellosis due to Brucella canis. Research in Veterinary Science. 90(3): 425 – 431 Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar...

It was noted that one of their tests (US – antigen), showed evidence of cross-reactivity with a range of diseases. Ten dogs from each disease group were tested for evidence of cross-reactivity and the following (number/%) tested positive for Brucella canis:
• Eight (80%) dogs with leptospirosis
• Three (30%) dogs with ehrlichiosis
• Seven (70%) dogs with babesiosis
• Three (30%) dogs with leishmaniasis
• Three (30%) dogs with neosporosis
• Three (10%) dogs with distemper

It was particularly noticeable that some of these infected dogs also so strongly cross-reacted on the Brucella canis US-antigen based indirect ELISA result that they also had a positive result on the Brucella canis test that was not close to the threshold for the test.
As an owner of an overseas dog, I was particularly interested to note that. Some of these are recognised to be common diseases that overseas dogs may be infected with or have been infected with.

I realise that this is not the same indirect ELISA as the one offered by yourselves at APHA Weybridge, but it has led me to the importance of ensuring that the validation work for these tests should include a population of dogs that are similar to the dogs that it is intended to use the tests on and that these validation trials should identify common diseases that an overseas dog imported into the UK may have been infected with. Therefore, I would like the following information:

Indirect ELISA:
1. When the APHA indirect ELISA was initially validated, what population were the ‘uninfected’ control group drawn from? What % of these were UK originating dogs, what % were Western Europe originating dogs, what % were Eastern European originating dogs, what % from elsewhere in the world, and what % were unknown?
2. How was the ‘high confidence that uninfected’ status determined?
3. What validation data have you specifically done to ensure that the indirect ELISA does NOT cross-react with the common diseases that an imported dog may be infected with/previously infected with and still retain antibodies for? In particular, I would like to know for: Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Distemper, Hepatozoon Canis, Bordetella Bronchiseptica, Giardiasis, and Heart worm.
4. As raw food feeding is a endemic feeding approach in the UK linked to several gram negative bacteria, I would also like to know what validation data you have specifically done to demonstrate that your indirect ELISA does not cross-react with the following pathogens: E Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter?
5. Finally, could you give me a list of the pathogens that you HAVE checked for evidence of cross-reactivity.
6. For (3) (4) and (5) please state whether this study was in vivo or in vitro.

SAT:
1. You report the sensitivity and specificity values for the SAT but never mention your validation data. Did APHA validate this data or was this test validated elsewhere and the APHA adopt the methodology?
2. If you did not validate this test, please signpost me to the source of the specificity and sensitivity data that you report?
3. If you did validate your version of the SAT, what population were the ‘uninfected’ control group drawn from? What % of these were UK originating dogs, what % were Western Europe originating dogs, what % were Eastern European originating dogs, what % from elsewhere in the world, and what % were unknown?
4. How was the ‘high confidence that uninfected’ status determined?
5. What validation data have you specifically done to ensure that the indirect ELISA does NOT cross-react with the common diseases that an imported dog may be infected with/previously infected with and still retain antibodies for? In particular, I would like to know for: Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Distemper, Hepatozoon Canis, Bordetella Bronchiseptica, Giardiasis, and Heart worm.
6. As raw food feeding is a endemic approach to feeding in the UK but linked to several gram negative bacteria, I would also like to know what validation data you have specifically done to demonstrate that your indirect ELISA does not cross-react with the following pathogens: E Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter?
7. Finally, could you give me a list of the pathogens that you HAVE checked for evidence of cross-reactivity.
8. For (5) (6) and (7) please state whether this study was in vivo or in vitro.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Yours faithfully.

Caroline Blower
Citizen of the UK
[Address removed.]
[Address removed.]

APHA Access to Information Team (ATI),

Our ref: FOI2024/05597

Dear Caroline Blower

Thank you for your email which we received on the 10th March requesting
information. Your request is being considered in respect to the access to
information legislation.

We aim to answer your request no later than 11th April, which is 20
working days from the date we received it. If we are unable to meet this
deadline we will contact you to explain the reason.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact us at the email
address below.

Yours sincerely

Access to Information Team

[1][Animal and Plant Health Agency request email]

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APHA Access to Information Team (ATI),

1 Attachment

Dear Caroline Blower,

Please find attached the response to your request of 10th March for
information on Brucella canis test validation.

Yours sincerely

Access to Information Team

[1][Animal and Plant Health Agency request email]

References

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