The primary screening test for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle in Great Britain and the EU is the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin (SICCT) test, which is commonly known as the tuberculin “skin test”.
On 23 October 2006, the Government introduced a new policy designed to improve the testing of cattle for bTB, by extending the use of the gamma interferon (g-IFN) diagnostic blood test, alongside the skin test, in certain prescribed circumstances. An estimated 45,000 to 50,000 g-IFN tests may be undertaken each year, depending on circumstances arising in the field. As about 4.8 million skin tests are undertaken annually, approximately one per cent. of tests for bTB will be carried out through application of the g-IFN test.