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Vet J. 2013 Nov;198(2):391-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.035. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain.

Author information

1
Veterinary Pathology, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK.

Abstract

Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), infects a wide range of wild and domestic mammals. Despite a control programme spanning decades, M. bovis infection levels in cattle in Great Britain (GB) have continued to rise over recent years. As the incidence of infection in cattle and wildlife may be linked to that in swine, data relating to infection of pigs identified at slaughter were examined in this study. Between 2007 and 2011, almost all M. bovis-infected pigs originated from farms in the South-West and West-Midland regions of England. The data suggest that pigs raised outdoors or on holdings with poor biosecurity may be more vulnerable to infection with M. bovis. In the majority of cases, the same strains of M. bovis were found in pigs and cattle, despite that fact that direct contact between these species was rarely observed. Genotyping and geographical mapping data indicated that some strains found in pigs may correlate better with those present in badgers, rather than cattle. In consequence, it is proposed that pigs may represent a useful sentinel for M. bovis infection in wildlife in GB. Given the potential implications of this infection for the pig industry, and for the on-going effort to control bovine TB, the importance of understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of M. bovis infection, as well as monitoring its prevalence, in pigs should not be underestimated.

KEYWORDS:

Badger (Meles meles); Bovine tuberculosis; Mycobacterium bovis; Pig (Sus scrofa); Wildlife

PMID:
24095608
DOI:
10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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