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Vet Microbiol. 2010 Jan 27;140(3-4):371-81. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.08.029. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Mycobacterium bovis at the animal-human interface: a problem, or not?

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Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X4, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa.


Mycobacterium bovis is a pathogen of significant importance in livestock and a wide range of wild animal species worldwide. It is also known to cause tuberculosis disease in humans, a fact which has raised renewed concerns regarding the zoonotic risk for humans, especially those living at the animal-human interface. This review consolidates recent reports in the literature mainly on animal and zoonotic tuberculosis with an emphasis on evolution, epidemiology, treatment and diagnosis. The information presented reveals the fundamental differences in the complexity and level at which the disease affects the economy, ecosystem and human population of regions where animal tuberculosis control is achieved and regions where little or no control is implemented. In conclusion the review suggests that bovine tuberculosis has essentially been reduced to a disease of economic importance in the developed world, while low-income countries are facing a multifaceted impact which potentially affects the health of livestock, humans and ecosystems and which is likely to increase in the presence of debilitating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other factors which negatively affect human livelihoods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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