An Evaluation of the Gamma Interferon Test for Detecting Bovine Tuberculosis in Cattle 8 to 28 Days After Tuberculin Skin Testing

Res Vet Sci. 2000 Aug;69(1):57-61. doi: 10.1053/rvsc.2000.0386.


The gamma interferon (IFN -gamma) test was evaluated for its ability to diagnose bovine tuberculosis in cattle that 8 to 28 days previously had a positive caudal fold skin test. The sensitivity of the test was determined in a group of 163 Mycobacterium bovis -infected cattle from 21 herds. The specificity was estimated in a group of 213 cattle which had reacted to a caudal fold test, but were from 82 herds that had no evidence of infection with M bovis. The sensitivity and specificity of the IFN -gamma test was 85 and 93 per cent respectively. No significant differences in the sensitivity and specificity of the test were observed between blood samples that were cultured on the day of collection and those cultured the day after collection. These findings support the use of the IFN -gamma test as a practical serial test that can be used to complement the caudal fold skin test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Cattle
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Interferon-gamma / blood*
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Mycobacterium bovis / immunology
  • Mycobacterium bovis / isolation & purification*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculin Test / veterinary*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / immunology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Interferon-gamma