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gamma interferon and bovine TB

email received

" I am most concerned with the reference on warmwell to gamma interferon as a 'cure all' for Tb.

It was trialled for several years in N. Ireland, in fact reported on in 1994, and 2000 (Neill & Pollock) and I believe abandoned. There as here, it was showing up antigens to tuberculosis, but avian, para, skin and more as well as bovis. Not specifically bovine in other words.

I have spoken to a farmer who took part in the UK trial (Cheshire) and tested 130 cattle. 69 were positive on gamma interferon but only 29 were positive on post mortem and/or on culture. That is the norm.

It works in Australia because there is no avian Tb, just like the original intradermal test over here. They had to use 2 jabs to differentiate.

The Irish were amazed Defra were considering it, and wrote in Dec 2000 (Vet. Record) that after their several years of trials,

In our case badgers were both the cause, and the maintenance reservoir of our problems.

A dead one was found on the next farm last month and now he has 6 more Reactors and we have 3.

No bought in cattle since 1997, and annual testing.

3 years, 2 months now under restriction and 16 consecutive 60 day tests.

And 38 dead cattle.