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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Feb 25;112(2-4):111-8. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

An update on bovine tuberculosis programmes in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

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WHO, Member of Panel of Experts in Tuberculosis, Av. Libertador 7504, 16A, 1429 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Of the approximately 374 million cattle in Latin America and the Caribbean, 70% are held in areas where rates of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle are higher than 1%. The remaining 30% are in countries where infection affects less than 1% of cattle, including 62 million in countries where bovine tuberculosis infection is virtually nil. Measures for controlling bovine tuberculosis are partially or extensively applied in most of the countries in the Region. These measures are based on test and slaughter, notification, post-mortem inspection and surveillance in slaughterhouses. A coordinated production, standardization and quality control of purified protein derivatives is urgently required for use in control and eradication campaigns in order to assure reliability of reagents and comparability of data on tuberculin testing within the Region. On the basis of information from Argentina, M. bovis is estimated to cause 2% of all human cases of tuberculosis in the Region. Slaughterhouse and dairy farms workers are most-frequently infected, with infection occurring via the respiratory tract. Various in vitro assays for the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis have been developed and/or assessed in the Region, and DNA fingerprinting has been applied for a comprehensive understanding of the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis at the local and regional level.

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