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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012, Article ID 192926, 12 pages
Research Article

Differential Gene Expression Segregates Cattle Confirmed Positive for Bovine Tuberculosis from Antemortem Tuberculosis Test-False Positive Cattle Originating from Herds Free of Bovine Tuberculosis

1Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, Michigan State University, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing, MI 48910, USA
3Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
4Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
5Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 6 January 2012; Revised 20 March 2012; Accepted 2 April 2012

Academic Editor: Mitchell Palmer

Copyright © 2012 Ailam Lim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Antemortem tests for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) currently used in the US measure cell-mediated immune responses against Mycobacterium bovis. Postmortem tests for bTB rely on observation of gross and histologic lesions of bTB, followed by bacterial isolation or molecular diagnostics. Cumulative data from the state of Michigan indicates that 98 to 99% of cattle that react positively in antemortem tests are not confirmed positive for bTB at postmortem examination. Understanding the fundamental differences in gene regulation between antemortem test-false positive cattle and cattle that have bTB may allow identification of molecular markers that can be exploited to better separate infected from noninfected cattle. An immunospecific cDNA microarray was used to identify altered gene expression ( 𝑃 0 . 0 1 ) of 122 gene features between antemortem test-false positive cattle and bTB-infected cattle following a 4-hour stimulation of whole blood with tuberculin. Further analysis using quantitative real-time PCR assays validated altered expression of 8 genes that had differential power (adj   𝑃 0 . 0 5 ) to segregate cattle confirmed positive for bovine tuberculosis from antemortem tuberculosis test-false positive cattle originating from herds free of bovine tuberculosis.