TB vaccine closer

PUBLISHED: 15:51 13 November 2007 | UPDATED: 08:17 28 March 2014

Vaccination to control bovine tuberculosis could be a step closer with the development of a test which can distinguish between vaccinated and infected animals.

TB is on the increase in UK cattle and vaccination is under active consideration, says the Institute of Animal Health.

This would involve using the same vaccination used to immunise humans against the disease, BCG.

However, BCG-vaccinated cattle test positive using the tuberculin skin

test. Before a bovine TB vaccination strategy can be implemented, a

method of distinguishing between vaccinated and infected animals has to

be established.  

The diagnostic test developed relies on the information that immune

cells of cattle previously infected with TB contain more of the protein

gamma interferon than those vaccinated for TB.

The test can provide 
same day, on farm diagnosis of TB and identify which are vaccinated and
which are infected.

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