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Sensitivity of bovine tuberculosis surveillance through intradermal tests in cattle in France: An evaluation of different scenarios

Abstract : The current situation regarding bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Europe is spatially heterogeneous, with stagnating or increasing trends in bTB prevalence in many European regions, underlying the challenge in controlling this disease. In France, in spite of the implementation of two control programs in 2010–2012 to eradicate the disease and maintain the bTB-free status, bTB prevalence has continued to increase, underlying the need to reinforce and adapt surveillance measures. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of bTB surveillance in high-risk areas in metropolitan France, with an emphasis on the criteria to select herds and animals within herds in the context of programmed surveillance and movement testing. The fraction of bTB-infected herds detected by the surveillance was quantified using a stochastic scenario tree modelling approach, with input parameter values based on surveillance and cattle traceability data and literature. The detection fraction was assessed for the current surveillance system and for alternative scenarios. The model predicted that the median detection fraction of infected herds by the current programmed surveillance in high-risk areas, which consists in annual testing of herds with a minimum age of testing of 24 months, was 71.5 % (interquartile interval: 47.4−89.4). The results showed a significant gain of the detection fraction with a decrease from 24 to 12 months old (83.5 % [60.6−95.9]) or to six weeks old (91.3 % [71.6−99.0]). Regarding pre-movement surveillance, tests are currently mandatory for bovines that originate from a previously infected herd or from a herd epidemiologically linked to a bTB-infected herd. The median detection fraction predicted by the model for this surveillance scenario was 1.2 % [0.7−1.8]. For the alternative scenario, where surveillance would be extended to all herds in high-risk areas, the model predicted a significant increase of the detection fraction to 26.5 % [18.1−37.9]. The results were sensitive to the following input values: the number of infected bovines within herds and, to a lower extent, the comparative intradermal tuberculin test sensitivity for both models, and surveillance coverage for the model on pre-movement surveillance. Our study underlines several complementary ways to improve the detection of infected herds, which is critical for implementing control measures and epidemiological investigations as early as possible. These necessary changes in surveillance must be accompanied by a global reflexion on surveillance financing.
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Contributor : Michel Leroux <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 4:56:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 11, 2021 - 1:58:15 PM




Viviane Hénaux, Claire Ponsart, Justine Corre, Florence Etore, Henri-Jean Boulouis, et al.. Sensitivity of bovine tuberculosis surveillance through intradermal tests in cattle in France: An evaluation of different scenarios. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Elsevier, 2021, 191, pp.105364. ⟨10.1016/j.prevetmed.2021.105364⟩. ⟨hal-03229145⟩



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