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Vet Med Int. 2014;2014:187842. doi: 10.1155/2014/187842. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

Characterization of Mycobacterium bovis from Humans and Cattle in Namwala District, Zambia.

Author information

1
Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 30900, Lusaka, Zambia.
2
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, P.O. Box 750, 0106 Oslo, Norway.
3
Department of Disease Control, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
4
Tuberculosis Laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Pathology, University Teaching Hospital, P/Bag RW1X, Lusaka, Zambia.
5
The Roslin Institute, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK.
6
Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, University of Tromsø-The Arctic University of Norway, Stakkevollveien 23, 9010 Tromsø, Norway.

Abstract

Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Zambia. While human to human transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is of major importance in driving the tuberculosis epidemic, the impact of Mycobacterium bovis transmission from infected cattle is largely unknown. This cross-sectional study aimed at molecular characterization of M. bovis in humans and cattle. A total of 100 human sputum samples and 67 bovine tissues were collected and analyzed for the presence of mycobacteria. Of 65 human samples that harbored acid fast bacteria (AFB), 55 isolates were obtained of which 34 were identified as M. tuberculosis and 2 as M. bovis. AFB-positive bovine samples (n = 67) yielded 47 mycobacterial isolates among which 25 were identified as M. bovis and no M. tuberculosis was found. Among the M. bovis isolates, spoligotyping revealed a high homogeneity in genotypes circulating in Namwala district. Human and cattle isolates shared identical MIRU-VNTR genotypes, suggesting that transmission between the two hosts may occur. Therefore, this study has documented zoonotic TB in human patients in Namwala district of Zambia. However, further molecular epidemiological studies in the study area are recommended.

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