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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377231

Research Project: Characterize the Immunopathogenesis and Develop Diagnostic and Mitigation Strategies to Control Tuberculosis in Cattle and Wildlife

Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Bovine tuberculosis: a disease at the interface of cattle, wildlife and humans

item Palmer, Mitchell
item Boggiatto, Paola
item KANIPE, CARLY - Orise Fellow
item LOMBARD, JASON - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2022
Publication Date: 4/4/2023
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Boggiatto, P.M., Kanipe, C., Lombard, J. 2023. Bovine tuberculosis: a disease at the interface of cattle, wildlife and humans. Book Chapter. 11(p 829-846).

Interpretive Summary: Zoonotic diseases, those that pass from animals to humans, have been and remain to be a burden on public health. Many zoonotic diseases involve humans, domestic animals and wildlife. Tuberculosis caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis is one of few pathogens that can infect humans, cattle and wildlife. Transmission between populations requires a common physical location and a method of interaction. This combination of location and interaction is often referred to as an interface. In terms of tuberculosis, the cattle-wildlife interface may involve numerous species and each interacts with cattle in different ways and in different locations. Similarly, tuberculosis is passed from animals to humans through an interface, which can vary depending on local customs, attitudes toward various animal species and socioeconomic factors. Eradication of tuberculosis from cattle will require a thorough understanding of these disease interfaces.

Technical Abstract: General awareness of zoonotic diseases has been heightened by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but in truth emerging zoonotic diseases have been and remain to be burdens on public health. Many zoonotic diseases involve domestic animals, wildlife and humans. Disease transmission occurs at the interface of these three populations. Bovine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis represents an excellent example of a zoonotic disease at the interface of cattle-wildlife and humans. An interface represents not only a physical location but also some form of interspecies interaction. There are multiple wildlife reservoirs of M. bovis and when disease transmits to cattle, it does so by unique means ranging from sharing feed to tossing possums. Human-animal interfaces may be in the forest, in the barn or in the kitchen and the interactions range from eating cheese to butchering animals. Disease on a global scale like bovine tuberculosis is difficult to eradicate and few countries have been successful. The presence of wildlife reservoirs of M. bovis and wildlife-to-cattle transmission makes eradiction more difficult, if not impossible. Disease eradication will require a thorough knowledge and great understanding of these interfaces.