Elimination of bovine tuberculosis (TB) by consulting the experts
30 May 2012
In North America bovine TB was the most common death cause among cattle until 1917, where a federal effort eliminated the TB breakouts. The occasional TB breakouts seen since have primarily been related to cattle import – legal as well as illegal.
In order to identify and track the TB breakouts it molecular fingerprinting techniques were used to identify several strains of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), indicating multiple sources of introduction.
States with high TB risk are California and New Mexico, where import of cattle and labor from e.g. Mexico is a risk factor. In Michigan and Minnesota M. bovis was tracked as well and these states also had TB infections but here the breakouts were identified to origin from the wildlife like white-tailed deer. A network of veterinarian experts did the mapping of bovine TB outbreaks in the US, which will be a solid tool to keep TB at a minimum.
Sources: Progressive Dairyman, US Farmer Magazine