Toward the Development of Diagnostic Assays to Discriminate Between Mycobacterium Bovis Infection and Bacille Calmette-Guérin Vaccination in Cattle

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;30 Suppl 3:S291-8. doi: 10.1086/313877.


A scientific review of the recent sharp increase in bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain has concluded that the development of a cattle vaccine holds the best prospect for long-term disease control. It is important to develop a diagnostic test that differentiates between vaccinated and Mycobacterium bovis-infected animals, to ensure that test-and-slaughter control strategies can continue alongside vaccination. The mycobacterial antigens ESAT-6, MPB64, and MPB83 are expressed at high levels in M. bovis but are expressed at low levels or not at all in bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Pasteur. Promiscuous bovine T cell epitopes of these antigens were identified and formulated into a peptide cocktail. This cocktail and a cocktail composed of recombinant forms of the 3 antigens was able to distinguish cattle infected with virulent M. bovis from those vaccinated with BCG and from those sensitized to avian tuberculin in lymphocyte transformation and interferon-gamma assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / genetics
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Cattle
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Mycobacterium bovis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium bovis / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / prevention & control
  • Vaccination*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • ESAT-6 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Interleukin-2
  • MPB64 protein, Mycobacterium
  • MPB83 protein, Mycobacterium
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interferon-gamma