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Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) can be detected in live animals by the use of tests of cellular mediated immunity, such as tuberculin
skin test and gamma-interferon assay (Bovigam
). In Egypt, the diagnostic tool for detection of BTB is skin testing,
although various factors can influence the sensitivity and specificity of these. Currently, the Bovigam
test is routinely used
in many countries as a complementary test for it is capability to improve the overall probability of detecting infected cattle
in herds accounting for a high incidence of BTB. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of the Bovigam
test to diagnose the BTB infection in Egypt. Association between single (STT) or single comparative intradermal (SCIT) skin
test, BTB status of cattle, and postmortem test results was investigated. To exclude the false positive test results
caused by sensitization of the animals with environmental mycobacteria and or increase the test efficacy to detect the infection
in inconclusive or negative skin test animals, the Bovigam
test was modified into a triple comparative test set-up. In addition to
the standard test format based on stimulation of whole blood with bovine and avian tuberculin PPD, IFN-
produced in response
to ESAT-6/CF-10, was explored. To improve test validity for Egyptian cattle, the most appropriate cut-off values for the test under
local conditions were determined. Our data suggested that the highest test specificity could be achieved by using tuberculin and
ESAT-6/CFP-10 in combination. All Animals that tested positive with ESAT-6/CFP-10 and tuberculin negative showed typical
visible lesion. The findings recommended the use of the triple comparative Bovigam
test as an ancillary or supplemental test in
TB program herds known or suspected of having bovine TB.
Gaber Abdellrazeq has completed his Ph.D. at the age of 31 years from Alexandria University and visiting scholar at Washington State University.
He is the principle investigator of three Egyptian Projects focused on mycobacterial diseases. He has published 2 papers in reputed journals and
serving as an editorial board member of repute.
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