Comparison of the sensitivity of the caudal fold skin test and a commercial γ-interferon assay for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis

Diana L. Whipple From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Carole A. Bolin From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Arthur J. Davis From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Jerald L. Jamagin From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Dorothy C. Johnson From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Richard S. Nabors From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Janet B. Payeur From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Dennis A. Saari From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Arach J. Wilson From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Mary M. Wolf From the Leptospirosis/Mycobacteriosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Agricultural Research Service (Whipple, Bohn), and the Pathobiology (Davis, Saan, Wilson) and Diagnostic Bacteriology (Jamagin, Payeur) Laboratories, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50010, and the State-Federal Diagnostic Laboratory, Austin, TX 78751 (Johnson, Nabors, Wolf).

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Abstract

A study to determine and compare the sensitivity of the caudal fold tuberculin test (cft) and a commercial γ-interferon (γ-ifn) assay for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis was conducted. A dairy herd with approximately a third of the cattle infected with Mycobacterium bovis was chosen for this study. All cattle from this herd were slaughtered, and tissue specimens for bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination were collected. Results of the cft and γ-ifn assay were compared with results of bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination to determine test sensitivity. Results were analyzed, using each of the following 4 standards to classify cattle as infected: positive test result by bacteriologic culturing only; histologic examination only; bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination; and bacteriologic culturing or histologic examination. Sensitivity of the cft ranged from 80.4 to 84.4%, depending on the standard of comparison. Sensitivity of the γ-ifn assay ranged from 55.4 to 97.1%, depending on the standard of comparison and on the method of interpretation. The cft was significantly (P < 0.001) more sensitive than the γ-ifn assay for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis when the γ-ifn assay was conducted and interpreted as instructed by the manufacturer. Maximum overall sensitivity was achieved when results of the cft and γ-ifn assay were interpreted in parallel.

Abstract

A study to determine and compare the sensitivity of the caudal fold tuberculin test (cft) and a commercial γ-interferon (γ-ifn) assay for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis was conducted. A dairy herd with approximately a third of the cattle infected with Mycobacterium bovis was chosen for this study. All cattle from this herd were slaughtered, and tissue specimens for bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination were collected. Results of the cft and γ-ifn assay were compared with results of bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination to determine test sensitivity. Results were analyzed, using each of the following 4 standards to classify cattle as infected: positive test result by bacteriologic culturing only; histologic examination only; bacteriologic culturing and histologic examination; and bacteriologic culturing or histologic examination. Sensitivity of the cft ranged from 80.4 to 84.4%, depending on the standard of comparison. Sensitivity of the γ-ifn assay ranged from 55.4 to 97.1%, depending on the standard of comparison and on the method of interpretation. The cft was significantly (P < 0.001) more sensitive than the γ-ifn assay for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis when the γ-ifn assay was conducted and interpreted as instructed by the manufacturer. Maximum overall sensitivity was achieved when results of the cft and γ-ifn assay were interpreted in parallel.

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