A research breakthrough allowing the first direct, empirical, blood-based, cow-side test for diagnosing bovine TB could spare farmers and the agriculture industry from costly quarantines and the mass slaughter of animals.

The study revealed the first profile of the lipomannan biomarker in bovine blood over a full one-year period. IMAGE: Fotolia/Budimir Jevtic.

Scientists from the Chemistry for Biomedical Applications team at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US adapted an assay originally developed for human TB to bTB.

This was a particular challenge as the bovine disease is caused by a different species of the pathogen.


Published in the journal Analytical Sciences1 and reported in Science Daily, the study had a number of key outcomes:

  • The team could directly measure pathogen biomarkers in bovine blood, which allows medical specialists to discriminate between simple exposure and actual infection.
  • This is the first profile of the lipomannan biomarker (the specific bTB biomarker, also known as LM) in bovine blood over a full one-year period.
  • The same assays applied to humans can thus be transitioned to assessing cattle, elephants and other species, supporting a global one health strategy for diagnosis.


  1. Vu DM, Akai K, Sakamuri RM, Waters WR, Swanson BI and Mukundan H (2017). Detection of Lipomannan in Cattle Infected with Bovine Tuberculosis, Analytical Sciences 33(4): 457-460.
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "US scientists develop new bTB test"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Timm Konold
9 days 10 hours ago

I think you got the reference wrong, and it probably should be Anal Sci. 2017;33(4):457-460. Detection of Lipomannan in Cattle Infected with Bovine Tuberculosis. Vu DM, Sakamuri RM, Waters WR, Swanson BI, Mukundan H.

Vet Times
8 days 17 hours ago

Thanks for the heads up.


Jobs from vet times jobs

related content

The VMD has issued a product defect recall in relation to certain batch numbers of Cefshot DC 250mg Intramammary Suspension for Cattle by Zoetis UK.

2 mins

Sara Pedersen runs through full treatment options and prevention strategies – and outlines best foot-bathing practices.

24 mins

Adam Martin explains how obstetric examinations are fundamentally the same, starting with reasonable history taking and progressing through an obstetrical examination to manipulation practices.

24 mins

Owen Atkinson delves into the history of the herd health plan, before explaining why “herd health management” is perhaps a better term – and going on to explain how vets could successfully implement excellent on-farm protocols.

44 mins

Roger Evans says many people feel badgers "should be protected at all costs", but don't feel the same way about cattle.

12 mins

A press release from the sponsor of this year’s Grand National has been criticised for “inaccuracies, misrepresentation and [the] potential to cause confusion” by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance.

4 mins