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Comparison of the specificity of human and bovine tuberculin PPD for testing cattle. 2. South-eastern England
  1. IW Lesslie,
  2. CN Herbert and
  3. DN Barnett


A tuberculin testing trial was carried out in eight counties of south-eastern England to compare the specificity for bovine tuberculosis of Weybridge human PPD with that of Rotterdam bovine PPD. The matching of these two tuberculins for potency in naturally infected cattle had already been established, the bovine PPD being approximately one-and-a-half times more potent than the human PPD per unit of weight. In 1110 cattle in 25 herds with histories of long-standing freedom from tuberculosis and in which non-specific tuberculin sensitivity was present, cross reactions were less to the bovine PPD than to the human PPD, showing that in the environment of this trial the bovine PPD was more specific than the human PPD. Induration diameter was a satisfactory alternative to skin thickening as a measure of tuberculin reactions in cattle under field conditions. Due to the steep slope of the dose-response curves of the avian PPD in the different groups of non-tuberculous cattle, the discriminating power of the comparative test, using avian and mammalian tuberculins, was less at lower doses of tuberculin. Concentrations of 1-0 mg per ml of bovine PPD and 0-5 mg per ml of avian PPD are recommended for use in a comparative tuberculin test.

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