Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine


Veterinary Microbiology


Brucella melitensis is the cause of brucellosis in sheep and goats resulting in abortion. Few cases of B. melitensis infection in goats have occurred in the United States over the last 25 years. However, vigilance for brucellosis in goats must be maintained as it is in the bovine milk industry to ensure it is not introduced into the U.S. goat population. The objective of this study was to develop a sensitive and specific indirect enzyme-linked immunoassay (iELISA) for the detection of B. melitensis antibody in goat milk. Brucella salt-extractable protein extract (BCSP) was employed as an antigen, and a horse-radish peroxidase labeled polyclonal anti-goat antibody was used as an anti-species conjugate. Thirteen of 13 (100%) individual positive milk samples tested positive, and 134 of 134 (100%) negative bulk milk samples tested negative by the iELISA developed. Three positive samples of high, medium, and low titer were used in simulating one positive animal in a negative herd. By this estimation, one high titer animal could be detected in a herd of greater than 1600 animals. Estimations for medium and low titer animals were one positive animal in a herd of less than 200 and 50 animals, respectively. The iELISA developed was found to be sensitive and specific and shows promise as a bulk milk test for the detection of Brucella melitensis antibody in goat milk.


Copyright Owner

Nathan D. Funk



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

59 pages