TB Anomalies Raise Doubts About Reliability of Tests

UK - The reliability of bovine TB tests has been brought into question after the two types of test in use produced vastly differing results in the same herds.
calendar icon 11 January 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

The anomalies arose when the gamma interferon (gIFN) blood test was used in conjunction with the TB skin test on two farms, one in Oxfordshire and an organic unit in the South West.

In each case, a routine skin test initially resulted in one or two ‘reactors’, but when the gIFN test was used on the same herds after 60 days, the number of positives leapt to around 100.

Both farmers are trying to resist the cull of the positive animals, amid fears about the reliability of the tests, and have enlisted law firm Clarke Willmott to help fight their cause.

Tim Russ, who specialises in agriculture at the firm, said the results raised serious questions about the tests. “Several of the top cattle vets in the country say this is scientifically impossible. One of those two tests must have something fundamentally wrong with it.

“If it is the gamma interferon test it means they are going to cull a whole load of animals that did not have the disease.

Source: Farmers Guardian

Further Reading

       - Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.
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