Comparison of a commercial modified direct agglutination test and a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for screening for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii in naturally exposed domestic cats.


Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Heroiv Oborony Str. 15, Kyiv, 03041, Ukraine. [Email]


Domestic cats and other felids are definitive hosts for the zoonotic protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Serology is widely used in epidemiological studies conducted to estimate the proportion of domestic cats that have encountered the parasite. However, a limited number of such studies are available from some regions, including eastern parts of Europe and Russia. Various serological tests have been applied for T. gondii serology for feline samples. Seropositivity indicates previous exposure, and seropositive cats are presumed to have shed oocysts of the parasite earlier and to be chronically infected. In this study, we included a random sample of 200 sera and plasma samples from a larger sampling frame comprising samples from domestic cats from Estonia, where T. gondii is common. The samples, which had been previously screened for anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibodies using a commercial modified direct agglutination test (DAT: Toxo-Screen DA; bioMérieux SA, Marcy-l'Étoile, France), were screened using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA: VectoToxo-antibodies [VektoTokso-antytila], VectorBest, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation). The cut-off for seropositivity with DAT was titer of 40. Of the 200 samples, 120 (60.0%) tested positive with DAT and 114 (57.0%) tested positive with ELISA; 112 samples (56.0%) tested positive with both tests. Percent agreement of 95.0% and Kappa 0.8971 indicated an almost perfect agreement between the screening results using the two methods. The results of this study can be useful for comparison, evaluation, and interpretation of results obtained with these two tests in seroepidemiological studies and may encourage more studies on the topic from eastern parts of Europe and Russia.