Epidemiology of Bovine tuberculosis in cattle and selected wild animals in the interface of Katavi Rukwa ecosystem, Tanzania.

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Sokoine University of Agriculture.


A study on epidemiology bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in wildlife-livestock interface was undertaken in Katavi-Rukwa Ecosystem (KRE). The objective of the study was to generate epidemiology data of BTB in KRE interface. This study aimed to isolate members of the mycobacteria tuberculosis complex (MTC), determine the prevalence of the disease as well as evaluating Bovigam® and Stat Pak® serological diagnostic test. In year 2010 to 2012, 789 cattle were examined by single comparative intradermal tuberculin test (SCITT) and 328 livestock tissues were cultured. One hundred and seventy eight wild animals were also sampled; among these, 119 tissue samples from buffalo, lion, leopard and hartebeest were sampled opportunistically during professional hunting and game cropping operations in the protected areas. Out of 789 cattle tested, SCITT results indicated prevalence of 4.6 % [(95% confidence interval CI, 3.4-5.9)] and 10.7% [(95% CI, 7.8-11.9)] at ≥4 mm and >2 mm cut off, respectively. The prevalence was significantly affected by sex (female 5%, χ2= 56.4, p=0.03) and age (>2 years 5.8%, p=0.017). Typical tuberculous lesions were detected in 80% of tuberculosis reactor cattle tested from slaughter houses; among these, four isolates were MTC and were further genetically classified. Three isolates were identified as M. bovis strains and one isolate was M. tuberculosis. M. bovis isolates were grouped into three clusters of strains, and M. tuberculosis isolate was typified as East African Indian sub lineage (SIT 48, EAI1-SOM). Three clusters of M. bovis strains were identified as SB0133 and SB1467 reported elsewhere in the world while a new spoligotype pattern was identified and reported for the first time referenced as SB2191 in M. bovis spoligotype database. Non tuberculous mycobacteria were detected in 25.9% and 12.6% of livestock and wildlife tissue cultures, respectively suggesting transmission in area. Bovigam was in good agreement with SCITT (p=0.001) in diagnosis of disease. It is recommended to government authority to use multisectoral, one health disease control strategy, in order to prevent the infected livestock to serve as a source of infection to wild animals or the other way around in the interface. Planning for BTB sensitization during disease control implementation is equally important.



Bovine tuberculosis epidemiology, Katavi-Rukwa Ecosystem, Stat Pak® serological diagnostic test, wildlife-livestock interface, wildlife-livestock diseases