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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Feb 25;112(2-4):283-90.

Surveillance and risk management during the latter stages of eradication: experiences from Australia.

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  • 1Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development, P.O. Box 3000, Darwin, NT 0801, Australia.


The paper reviews the eradication of bovine tuberculosis from Australia with special reference to surveillance and managing the risk of animals exposed to tuberculosis infected animals during the latter stages of eradication. The successful eradication was based on a sound technical program with strong industry and government support. The model of joint industry and government funding and decision-making first used during the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign (BTEC) has been successfully incorporated within subsequent livestock disease control programs in Australia. An overview of the history of tuberculosis eradication in Australia provides a background to the surveillance approach. Australia was fortunate that there were no wildlife reservoir hosts. Feral animal reservoir hosts were removed during the eradication program. Surveillance to detect rare diseases is recognised to be statistically challenging with high resource requirements. Australian veterinary authorities have a high level of confidence that the combination of increasing sensitivity of abattoir surveillance systems by the submission of all granulomas detected at slaughter with increasing risk management of animals exposed to tuberculosis infected animals during the final stages of eradication provides a high level of assurance that Mycobacterium bovis has been eradicated.

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