Cats are pivotal in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii. To develop a sensitive and specific serodiagnostic method for feline toxoplasmosis, surface antigen 2 (SAG2) of T. gondii was expressed in Escherichia coli and its diagnostic potential evaluated in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The ELISA with recombinant SAG2 (rSAG2) was able to differentiate very clearly between sera from cats experimentally infected with T. gondii and sera from normal cats. Serum samples collected from domestic cats in Japan were investigated by the ELISA, and the results were compared with those of a commercially available latex agglutination test (LAT) kit. Of the 192 samples screened, 42 (21.9%) were positive by ELISA. Among the 42 ELISA-positive samples, 39 were positive by LAT. There was a significant correlation between ELISA and LAT titers. All the 150 ELISA-negative samples were negative by LAT. These results indicate that the ELISA with rSAG2 expressed in E. coli should be a useful method for detection of T. gondii infection in cats.

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