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Vet J. 2011 Oct;190(1):131-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.09.026. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

Factors influencing the performance of an interferon-γ assay for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in goats.

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Centro VISAVET, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


The interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) assay is an effective tool for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (Tb) in goats. The objectives of this study were to evaluate factors that might affect assay performance: (1) the phenol concentration of the purified protein derivative (PPD, tuberculin) used; (2) dialysis of PPD; and (3) delaying antigenic stimulation of blood samples for 8, 16 and 24h after collection. The assay was performed in duplicate with two cut-off points. Dialysis of PPD reduced test sensitivity, whereas the concentration of phenol did not significantly affect test outcome. Delaying antigenic stimulation of samples >8h resulted in a reduction in test sensitivity, compromising the capacity of the assay to detect infected animals. Performing the assay in duplicate was unnecessary, which has implications for reducing assay costs. These findings will facilitate the effective application of the IFN-γ assay as an ancillary test in Tb eradication programmes in goats.

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