Blood testing

Interferon gamma test

The interferon gamma blood test (or gamma test for short) is a lab based supplementary test for the diagnosis of TB in cattle. It is approved in the EU for use in conjunction with the tuberculin skin test to increase the overall sensitivity of testing. It is usually only used in known infected herds under TB restrictions.

Antibody tests

Antibody or serological blood tests have been developed to diagnose TB in cattle. They detect specific antibodies produced by the animal in response to infection with Mycobacterium bovis, the bacterium that causes bovine TB.

Interferom gamma - Bovine TB

Interferon-gamma test factsheet

A summary of the key points about this supplementary blood test.

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White cow - Bovine TB

Decoupling of skin and gamma tests

An information note on decoupling of skin and gamma tests in TB breakdown herds in England.

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Microscope with scientist - Bovine TB

Exceptional private use of non-validated tests

In England, cattle keepers can apply to APHA to use non-validated tests for TB in cattle if specific criteria are met.

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Interferom gamma - Bovine TB

More information about the gamma test

A comprehensive guide with all you need to know about the gamma test.

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TB testing cows on a farm - TB hub

Optional private gamma testing

Cattle keepers can apply to APHA through their private vet to carry out private gamma testing.

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Badger in the woods - Bovine TB

Gamma testing in badger cull areas in 2017

An information note on gamma testing of TB breakdown herds in badger cull areas in England in 2017.

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Vet holding a sample in a cattle shed - TB Hub

Gamma test PowerPoint

A PowerPoint produced by the Animal & Plant Health Agency explaining what the gamma test is and why it's used.

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Scientist in lab sampling - Bovine TB

The IDEXX antibody TB test

Information about use of the IDEXX antibody test for TB in cattle in Great Britain.

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