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The comparative performance of the single intradermal comparative tuberculin test in Irish cattle, using tuberculin PPD combinations from different manufacturers.

Author(s): Good M, Clegg TA, Murphy F, More SJ

Affiliation(s): Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agriculture House, Kildare St., Dublin 2, Ireland. margaret.good@agriculture.gov.ie

Publication date & source: 2011-07-05, Vet Microbiol., 151(1-2):77-84. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

Ireland currently obtains its avian and bovine tuberculin purified protein derivatives (PPDs) from a single source. Because problems of supply or quality cannot be discounted, it is prudent that Ireland identify alternative supplier(s) as part of a broad risk management strategy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the performance of a number of different tuberculin combinations (that is, pairings of bovine and avian PPD; with different manufacturers) in the single intradermal comparative tuberculin test (SICTT), as currently performed in Ireland. The study was randomised, controlled and double-blinded. A total of 2172 cattle were used in the study. Each animal was tested using two SICTTs, the first based on the tuberculin combination in current use, and the second using one of six trial tuberculin combinations. Analyses were conducted to compare both reactor-status and skin increase. For each control/trial tuberculin combination, there was good agreement between the control and trial reactor-status. Differences in skin increases were mainly confined to animals categorised as either negative or severe inconclusive. However, the measured differences were minor, and unlikely to have a significant impact on the actual test outcome, either for individual animals or for herds. In conclusion, while further studies determining sensitivity and specificity in Ireland would have to be done in the event of a change in tuberculin PPD there should be minimal disruption of the national programme if alternative tuberculin PPDs meeting WHO, OIE and EU regulations were used. In this study, the precision of the guinea pig bio-assay to assess tuberculin potency was low and therefore Ireland should maintain its practice of periodically assessing potency in naturally infected cattle, even though this is not currently required under WHO, OIE or EU Regulations. Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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