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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2001;81(1-2):147-55.

BOVIGAM: an in vitro cellular diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis.

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Research and Development, CSL Animal Health, 45 Poplar Road, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


BOVIGAM which is based on the detection of gamma interferon (IFN- gamma) is a rapid, laboratory assay of a cell mediated immune response that may be used for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) infection in animals. Whole blood is first incubated overnight with bovine PPD, avian PPD or negative control antigens, and IFN- gamma in the supernatant plasma is then measured by EIA. TB infection is indicated by a predominant IFN- gamma response to bovine PPD. Since 1988, BOVIGAM has been extensively trialed on more than 200 000 cattle in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, Spain and the USA. Sensitivity has varied between 81.8% and 100% for culture-confirmed bovine TB and specificity between 94% and 100%. The IFN- gamma assay detects M. bovis infection earlier than the skin test and in New Zealand is applied to detect skin-test negative cattle with TB, where after slaughter a significant number of IFN- gamma reactors have TB. BOVIGAM is also approved in New Zealand for serial testing skin test positive cattle when non-specificity is suspected. Cattle are tested 7-30 days after a positive caudal fold test. The boosting effect of the skin test on T-cell activity allows blood to be cultured with PPD up to 30 h after collection without effecting accuracy. The BOVIGAM results are not affected by poor nutritional condition and are only mildly and briefly affected by dexamethasone treatment and parturition. IFN- gamma responses of cattle vaccinated with BCG are dose-dependent and short-lived. The BOVIGAM kit is now used routinely in many countries for the detection of M. bovis infected cattle, buffalo and goats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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