The tuberculin test

Vet Microbiol. 1994 May;40(1-2):111-24. doi: 10.1016/0378-1135(94)90050-7.


Tuberculin tests in general use today rely on the response to intradermal injections of tuberculin with assessment of the injection site for swelling at 72 hours post injection. Estimates of the sensitivity of tuberculin tests range from 68-95% while specificity is estimated to be 96-99%. The sensitivity of the test is affected by the potency and dose of tuberculin administered, the interval post-infection, desensitisation, deliberate interference, post-partum immunosuppression and observer variation. Specificity is influenced by sensitisation as a result of exposure to M. avium, M. paratuberculosis and environmental mycobacteria and by skin tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculin / chemistry
  • Tuberculin / immunology
  • Tuberculin / isolation & purification
  • Tuberculin Test / standards
  • Tuberculin Test / veterinary*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / diagnosis*


  • Tuberculin