An extensive field comparison of the gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) assay and the single intradermal tuberculin test for the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis was conducted in Australia. The specificity of the IFN-gamma assay was determined by testing more than 6000 cattle from tuberculosis-free herds and varied from 96.2% to 98.1%, depending on the cut-off point chosen to define a positive reactor. For the sensitivity trial, cattle from herds being de-populated because of bovine tuberculosis were examined with both assays. The sensitivity of the IFN-gamma assay was shown to be significantly higher than the single intradermal tuberculin test and varied from 76.8% to 93.6% depending on the method of interpretation. A maximum overall sensitivity of 95.2% was obtained by testing with the IFN-gamma and the tuberculin test in parallel. The superior sensitivity of the IFN-gamma assay and the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the system depending on the task involved, will provide the Australian Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign with a valuable additional test to enable it to accomplish its goals.