Meta-analysis of field studies on bovine tuberculosis skin tests in United States cattle herds

MacDonald W. Farnham, Bo Norby, Tim J. Goldsmith, Scott J. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Our objective was to summarize information on the diagnostic accuracy, in terms of test sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp), for bovine tuberculosis (bTb) tuberculin skin tests as currently used in the United States. Meta-analyses including Se and Sp estimates from field studies of bTb tuberculin tests conducted in North American cattle were conducted to provide a distribution of estimates and central tendency for Se and Sp of the caudal fold tuberculin (CFT) and serial interpretation of the CFT and comparative cervical tuberculin (CFT-CCT) tests. In total, 12 estimates for CFT and CFT-CCT test Se and Sp were identified from seven publications matching inclusion criteria. Estimates for CFT test Se ranged from 80.4% to 93.0% and CFT test Sp from 89.2% to 95.2%. Estimates for CFT-CCT test Se ranged from 74.4% to 88.4% and CFT-CCT test Sp ranged from 97.3% to 98.6%. These distributions of test Se and Sp are intended to provide a more realistic representation for U.S. bTb skin tests than previously reported. Estimation and discussion of herd-level CFT and CFT-CCT test parameters is also included. These results should be considered at the herd and individual animal level when evaluating results from tuberculin skin test results in North American cattle herds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Sensitivity
  • Serial test interpretation
  • Specificity
  • Tuberculin skin tests


Dive into the research topics of 'Meta-analysis of field studies on bovine tuberculosis skin tests in United States cattle herds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this