Bovine Tuberculosis (Tb) is a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). It is a major infectious disease found worldwide in domestic animals, particularly cattle, as well as in certain wildlife populations. Airborne transmission is the primary pathway for infection of M. bovis within and between species; however animals may also become infected if they ingest large quantities of the bacterium.
Tb is predominantly a respiratory disease affecting the lungs and associated lymph nodes. Infection is often sub-clinical; while clinical signs; when present are not specifically distinctive of the disease. Symptoms may include physical weakness, anorexia, emaciation, enlargement of lymph nodes, and coughing, particularly in advanced cases of Tb.
Human health risk
Bovine Tuberculosis is a significant zoonosis and presents a serious health risk to humans. The bacterium can be spread from animals to humans through aerosols or through the consumption of unpasteurized milk or dairy products from infected cows.
An outbreak of Bovine Tuberculosis may have a significant negative impact on the farming industry as a result of reduced milk yields, culling of herds, and restrictions on meat exports from affected areas.
Prionics offers two rapid whole blood Interferon gamma tests as well as an in vivo diagnostic for the detection of Tb in different species. Tuberculin PPD is used in the skin test in cattle. The Interferon gamma tests can be used either in combination with, or as an alternative to, the skin test and yields objective and highly reliable results.