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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: COUNTERMEASURES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL TUBERCULOSIS IN CATTLE AND WILDLIFE RESERVOIRS Title: Bovine tuberculosis and the establishment of an eradication program in the United States: Role of veterinarians

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Waters, Wade

Submitted to: Veterinary Medicine International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2011
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Waters, W.R. 2011. Bovine tuberculosis and the establishment of an eradication program in the United States: Role of veterinarians. Veterinary Medicine International. 2011(816345):1-12.

Interpretive Summary: The significance of the identification of Mycobacterium bovis as a bacterium that could cause disease in both animals and humans in 1882 was not initially recognized. After years of research by veterinarians, and other scientists, the importance of M. bovis as a disease causing agent and the public health ramifications, were appreciated. Veterinarians played pivotal roles in the creation of improved meat and milk inspection procedures; diagnoses of M. bovis infected cattle, and in time a bovine tuberculosis eradication program that would impact every cattle producer in the country. After overcoming many challenges, the 93 year long program has decreased disease prevalence from 5% to <0.001%. Today, years of hard work by practitioners, researchers and regulatory officials alike, have yielded a program with a net benefit of almost $160 million per year.

Technical Abstract: The significance of the identification of Mycobacterium bovis as a zoonotic pathogen in 1882 was not initially recognized. After years of research by veterinarians, and other scientists, the importance of M. bovis as a pathogen and the public health ramifications, were appreciated. Veterinarians played pivotal roles in the creation of improved meat and milk inspection procedures; diagnoses of M. bovis infected cattle, and in time a bovine tuberculosis eradication program that would impact every cattle producer in the country. After overcoming many challenges, the 93 year long program has decreased disease prevalence from 5% to <0.001%. Today, years of hard work by practitioners, researchers and regulatory officials alike, have yielded a program with a net benefit of almost $160 million per year.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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