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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Advances in Bovine Tuberculosis Diagnosis and Pathogenesis: What Policy Makers Need to Know

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Waters, Wade

Submitted to: Veterinary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 3, 2005
Publication Date: February 25, 2006
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Waters, W.R. 2006. Advances in bovine tuberculosis diagnosis and pathogenesis: What policy makers need to know. Veterinary Microbiology. 112(2006):181-190.

Interpretive Summary: Tuberculosis remains a problem in domestic livestock and wildlife in many countries including the United States. The mainstay of tuberculosis diagnosis in cattle and deer has been the tuberculin skin test. Recent advances have allowed the incorporation of blood-based assays to the diagnostic arsenal for both cattle and deer. Improved knowledge of the genetic sequence of the causative agent, Mycobacterium bovis, and improved understanding of the immune response in cattle and deer have resulted in improved tests with potential use in cattle and deer. The exact nature of their use remains to be determined. Combined use of blood-based assays with skin testing will require further understanding of the effect of skin testing on the accuracy of blood-based assays. Models of experimental infection of cattle have allowed for increased understanding of natural disease pathogenesis. Differences likely exist; however, between cattle and deer in both disease distribution and primary route of inoculation in naturally infected animals.

Technical Abstract: The mainstay of tuberculosis diagnosis in cattle and deer has been the tuberculin skin test. Recent advances have allowed the incorporation of blood based assays to the diagnostic arsenal for both cattle and deer. Use of defined and specific antigens has allowed for improved specificity of cell mediated assays in both cattle and deer and advances in antibody tests for tuberculosis have potential for use in free-ranging and captive cervid populations. Combined use of blood-based assays with skin testing will require further understanding of the effect of skin testing on the accuracy of blood based assays. Models of experimental infection of cattle have allowed for increased understanding of natural disease pathogenesis. Differences likely exist; however, between cattle and deer in both disease distribution and primary route of inoculation in naturally infected animals.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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