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I WAS interested in the editorial on bovine TB test sensitivity by Graham Medley and Laura Green (VR, January 26, 2013, vol 172, pp 96-97). I was, however, surprised to read their conclusion that test sensitivity and test intervals are the key to bovine TB control, to the extent that they should be prioritised even at the expense of test specificity.
Intuitively, prioritising test sensitivity appeals to us all. However, in the field, what matters is whether applying more sensitive tests, at the herd level, will significantly increase the number of true positives removed. For example, if the relative sensitivities of the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin (SICCT) test and severe interpretation SICCT test are 0.81 and 0.85, respectively (Karolemeas …
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