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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2001;81(1-2):125-32.

Vaccination of cattle against Mycobacterium bovis.

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  • 1AgResearch, Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, Upper Hutt, New Zealand.


Protection of cattle against bovine tuberculosis by vaccination could be an important control strategy in countries where there is persistence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in wildlife and in developing countries where it is not economical to implement a 'test and slaughter' control programme. Early field trials with Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) M. bovis vaccine in cattle produced disappointing results, with induction of tuberculin skin-test reactivity following vaccination and low levels of protection. However, recent studies using a low dose of BCG vaccine in cattle have produced more encouraging results and field trials should now be carried out in developing countries to determine whether this low dose BCG vaccination strategy will reduce the spread of infection. The options for new candidate tuberculosis vaccines have increased markedly in the last decade with the advent of new attenuated strains of M. bovis, and sub-unit protein and recombinant DNA vaccines. Some of these new types of vaccines have recently been tested in cattle. New attenuated M. bovis vaccines induced greater protection than BCG vaccine in cattle which had been sensitized to environmental mycobacteria prior to vaccination. In contrast, it has proved difficult to stimulate appropriate immune responses in cattle necessary for protection with sub-unit protein and recombinant DNA vaccines and better immunological adjuvants are required for these types of vaccines. Progress in the development of new tuberculosis vaccines has been very rapid in the past decade and the prospects for vaccination to control and eradicate bovine tuberculosis are encouraging.

Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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