The efficiency of the tuberculin delayed-type skin hypersensitivity test was evaluated in swine. A comparison of the tuberculin skin tests was performed with avian and bovine protein derivatives (PPD), in the detection of Mycobacterium avium-Complex or M. bovis infected swine. The methods were evaluated as to define criteria for readings and results interpretation, to determine their capacity in detecting Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infected swine and their performance in differentiating MAC from M. bovis-infected individuals. Three trials were performed with naturally MAC-infected swine, experimentally MAC-infected or experimentally M. bovis-infected animals. The skin test readings positive or negative were, respectively, correlated to the presence or absence of gross lesions and histological alterations in lymph nodes at slaughter age. Reaction with both antigens were observed in MAC and M. bovis-inoculated animals as well. Reactions wider then 0.5cm in diameter or showing skin thickness increasing more then 0.2cm in the time frame between inoculation and reading were considered to be positive, as compared to the average results of the group. Herds with MAC-infected swine could be detected with either avian or bovine PPD. Both diameter and skin thickness were efficient in detecting MAC-infected swine, however, reading the diameter of the reaction was shown to be more easily and economically performed.
swine; tuberculin; Mycobacterium avium; Mycobacterium bovis