Background Serological screening of pig herds at the abattoir is considered a potential tool to improve meat inspection procedures and herd health management. Therefore, we previously reported the feasibility of a miniaturised protein microarray as a new serological IgG screening test for zoonotic agents and production diseases in pigs. The present study investigates whether the protein microarray-based assay is applicable for high sample throughput using either blood serum or meat juice.
Material and methods Microarrays with 12 different antigens were produced by Abbott (formerly Alere Technologies GmbH) Jena, Germany in a previously offered ‘ArrayTube’ platform and in an ‘ArrayStrip’ platform for large-scale use. A test protocol for the use of meat juice on both microarray platforms was developed. Agreement between serum and meat juice was analysed with 88 paired samples from three German abattoirs. Serum was diluted 1:50 and meat juice 1:2. ELISA results for all tested antigens from a preceding study were used as reference test to perform Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis for both test specimens on both microarray platforms.
Results High area under curve values (AUC > 0.7) were calculated for the analysis of T. gondii (0.87), Y. enterocolitica (0.97), Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (0.84) and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (0.71) with serum as the test specimen and for T. gondii (0.99), Y. enterocolitica (0.94), PRRSV (0.88), A. pleuropneumoniae (0.78) and Salmonella spp. (0.72) with meat juice as the test specimen on the ArrayStrip platform. Cohens kappa values of 0.92 for T. gondii and 0.82 for Y. enterocolitica were obtained for the comparison between serum and meat juice. When applying the new method in two further laboratories, kappa values between 0.63 and 0.94 were achieved between the laboratories for these two pathogens.
Conclusion Further development of a miniaturised pig-specific IgG protein microarray assay showed that meat juice can be used on microarray platforms. Two out of twelve tested antigens (T. gondii, Y. enterocolitica) showed high test accuracy on the ArrayTube and the ArrayStrip platform with both sample materials.