In order to identify cytokines that may be useful as candidates for inclusion in diagnostic tests for Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle, we compared the levels of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP-1β), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in whole-blood cultures from tuberculosis (TB) reactor animals or TB-free controls following stimulation with M. bovis-specific antigens (purified protein derivative from M. bovis [PPD-B] or ESAT-6/CFP-10). In addition to IFN-γ responses, the production of IL-1β and TNF-α was also statistically significantly elevated in TB reactor cattle over that in uninfected controls following stimulation with PPD-B or ESAT-6/CFP-10 peptides. Thus, we evaluated whether the use of these two additional readouts could disclose further animals not detected by measuring IFN-γ alone. To this end, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were performed to define diagnostic cutoffs for positivity for TNF-α and IL-1β. These results revealed that for ESAT-6/CFP-10-induced responses, the use of all three readouts (IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-1β) in parallel increased the sensitivity of detection of M. bovis-infected animals by 11% but also resulted in a specificity decrease of 14%. However, applying only IFN-γ and IL-1β in parallel resulted in a 5% increase in sensitivity without the corresponding loss of specificity. The results for PPD-B-induced responses were similar, although the loss of specificity was more pronounced, even when only IFN-γ and IL-1β were used as readout systems. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the use of an additional readout system, such as IL-1β, can potentially complement IFN-γ by increasing overall test sensitivity for the detection of M. bovis infection in cattle.