Proceedings

Tuberculosis cross-species transmission in Tanzania: Towards a One-Health concept

Erasto V. Mbugi, Bugwesa Z. Katale, Sharon Kendall, Liam Good, Gibson S. Kibiki, Julius D. Keyyu, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Paul van Helden, Mecky I. Matee
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 79, No 2 | a501 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v79i2.501 | © 2012 Erasto V. Mbugi, Bugwesa Z. Katale, Sharon Kendall, Liam Good, Gibson S. Kibiki, Julius D. Keyyu, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Paul van Helden, Mecky I. Matee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2012 | Published: 20 July 2012

About the author(s)

Erasto V. Mbugi, Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of
Bugwesa Z. Katale, Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of
Sharon Kendall, The Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom
Liam Good, The Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom
Gibson S. Kibiki, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Tumaini University, Tanzania, United Republic of
Julius D. Keyyu, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
Peter Godfrey-Faussett, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
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, Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, United Republic of


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Abstract

For centuries, tuberculosis, which is a chronic infection caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis has remained a global health problem. The global burden of tuberculosis has increased, particularly in the Southern African region, mainly due to HIV, and inadequate health systems which has in turn given rise to emergent drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) strains. Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) has also emerged as a significant disease with the tendency for inter-species spread. The extent of interspecies BTB transmission both in urban and rural communities has not been adequately assessed. The phenomenon is of particular importance in rural communities where people share habitats with livestock and wildlife (particularly in areas near national parks and game reserves). Aerosol and oral intake are the major routes of transmission from diseased to healthy individuals, with health care workers often contracting infection nosocomially. Although TB control has increasingly been achieved in high-income countries, the disease, like other poverty-related infections, has continued to be a disaster in countries with low income economies. Transmission of infections occurs not only amongst humans but also between animals and humans (and occasionally vice versa) necessitating assessment of the extent of transmission at their interface. This review explores tuberculosis as a disease of humans which can cross-transmit between humans, livestock and wildlife. The review also addresses issues underlying the use of molecular biology, genetic sequencing and bioinformatics as t tools to understand the extent of inter-species cross-transmission of TB in a ‘One Health’ context.

Keywords

Tuberculosis; cross-transmission; one health

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