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Factors affecting the gamma interferon test in the detection of bovine tuberculosis in cattle

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 09:06 authored by Geoff DeLisle, Richard Green, Bryce BuddleBryce Buddle
The gamma interferon (IFN-γ) test has been used for many years as an ancillary test in the detection of bovine tuberculosis. We investigated the effect of skin testing and the length of time between blood collection and processing on the performance of the IFN-γ test. A series of blood samples were taken from groups of experimentally infected cattle ( n = 10), naturally infected ( n = 11), and uninfected animals ( n = 12) that were examined with a caudal fold skin test. Blood was taken on the day of tuberculin injection, 3 d later when the skin tests were read, and 11-19 d post-tuberculin injection, and was processed for the IFN-γ test at 8, 30, and 36 h postcollection. There were significant decreases in the IFN-γ responses with increasing time between blood collection and sample processing. Significantly greater responses were observed in both the purified protein derivative (PPD) and early secretory antigenic target protein 6/culture filtrate protein 10 IFN-γ tests for samples processed at 8 h postcollection compared with the same samples at 30 and 36 h postcollection, and greater responses for samples processed at 30 h compared with 36 h on 2 different days for the experimentally infected animals. There were no significant effects on IFN-γ responses that could be attributed to skin testing. The recommendation for IFN-γ testing in New Zealand is that samples should not be processed if in transit for >30 h, but blood samples can be collected for IFN-γ testing regardless of the timing of the skin test.


Rights statement

Copyright © 2017 by American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


SAGE Journals

Journal title

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation




De Lisle, G. W., Green, R. S., & Buddle, B. M. (2017). Factors affecting the gamma interferon test in the detection of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 29(2), 198–202. doi:10.1177/1040638716689114

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