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Bovine tuberculosis at the human-livestock-wildlife interface: Is it a public health problem in Tanzania? A review

Bugwesa Z. Katale, Erasto V. Mbugi, Sharon Kendal, Robert D. Fyumagwa, Gibson S. Kibiki, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Julius D. Keyyu, Paul van Helden, Mecky I. Matee
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 79, No 2 | a463 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v79i2.463 | © 2012 Bugwesa Z. Katale, Erasto V. Mbugi, Sharon Kendal, Robert D. Fyumagwa, Gibson S. Kibiki, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Julius D. Keyyu, Paul van Helden, Mecky I. Matee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 2012 | Published: 20 June 2012

About the author(s)

Bugwesa Z. Katale, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of
Erasto V. Mbugi, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of
Sharon Kendal, Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic disease, Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom
Robert D. Fyumagwa, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Njiro, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
Gibson S. Kibiki, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Tumaini University, Moshi, Tanzania, United Republic of
Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
Julius D. Keyyu, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Njiro, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
Paul van Helden, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research/MRC Centre of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Mecky I. Matee, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of


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Abstract

Despite the apparent public health concern about Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in Tanzania, little has been done regarding the zoonotic importance of the disease and raising awareness of the community to prevent the disease. Bovine tuberculosis is a potential zoonotic disease that can infect a variety of hosts, including humans. The presence of multiple hosts including wild animals, inefficient diagnostic techniques, absence of defined national controls and eradication programs could impede the control of bovine TB. In Tanzania, the diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis in animals is mostly carried out by tuberculin skin testing, meat inspection in abattoirs and only rarely using bacteriological techniques. The estimated prevalence of BTB in animals in Tanzania varies and ranges across regions from 0.2% to 13.3%, which is likely to be an underestimate if not confirmed by bacteriology or molecular techniques. Mycobacterium bovis has been detected and isolated from different animal species and has been recovered in 10% of apparently healthy wildebeest that did not show lesions at post-mortem. The transmission of the disease from animals to humans can occur directly through the aerosol route and indirectly by consumption of raw milk. This poses an emerging disease threat in the current era of HIV confection in Tanzania and elsewhere. Mycobacterium bovis is one of the causative agents of human extra pulmonary tuberculosis. In Tanzania there was a significant increase (116.6%) of extrapulmonary cases reported between 1995 and 2009, suggesting the possibility of widespread M. bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection due to general rise of Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This paper aims to review the potential health and economic impact of bovine tuberculosis and challenges to its control in order to safeguard human and animal population in Tanzania.

Keywords

M. bovis; human-livestock-wildlife-interface; public health problem; Tanzania

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