Bovine tuberculosis could spread by human-human contact

bably due to a combination of host and environmental factors. Prospective surveillance and DNA fingerprinting identified the cluster, enabling health protection teams to set up control measures and prevent further transmission."

In an accompanying Comment, Charles O Thoen (College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, USA) concludes: "Investigations are needed to elucidate the relative importance of M bovis in the worldwide tuberculosis problem in human beings, especially in developing countries. Efforts should be concentrated in countries where HIV infection is widespread, since people infected with the virus are more susceptible to M bovis. Eradication of M bovis in cattle and pasteurisation of dairy products are the cornerstones of prevention of human disease. Standard public-health measures used to manage patients with contagious M tuberculosis should be applied to those with contagious M bovis to stop airborne person-to-person spread. Finally, measures should be developed to identify and control M bovis infection in wild animals, which might be an important source of infection for domesticated food-producing animals".


Contact: Ann Fleming

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