Bovine tuberculosis remains a major economic and animal welfare concern worldwide. Cattle vaccination is being considered as part of control strategies. This approach, used alongside conventional control policies, also requires the development of vaccine-compatible diagnostic assays to distinguish vaccinated from infected animals (DIVA). We discuss progress made on optimizing the only potentially available vaccine, bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG), and on strategies to improve BCG efficacy. We also describe recent advances in DIVA development based on the detection of host cellular immune responses by blood-testing or skin-testing approaches. Finally, to accelerate vaccine development, definition of host biomarkers that provide meaningful stage-gating criteria to select vaccine candidates for further testing is highly desirable. Some progress has also been made in this area of research, and we summarize studies that defined either markers predicting vaccine success or markers that correlate with disease stage or severity.


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