Bovine tuberculosis (bTB)

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB)

Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease of cattle that can affect other species of mammals and is caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis, a bacterium in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex of the family Mycobacteriaceae. It is a significant zoonosis that can spread to humans, typically by inhaling aerosols or from drinking unpasteurized milk. In developed countries, eradication programs have reduced or eliminated tuberculosis in cattle, and human disease is now rare; however, reservoirs in wildlife can make complete eradication difficult. Bovine tuberculosis is still common in less developed countries, and causes economic losses from livestock deaths, chronic disease and trade restrictions. This disease may also be a serious threat to endangered species. Effective bovine tuberculosis vaccines are not currently available for cattle.

The Global Research Alliance for Bovine Tuberculosis (GRAbTB) was started under the STAR-IDAZ project, to facilitate research cooperation and technical exchange on bovine tuberculosis (bTB). GRAbTB currently has 15 partners from Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Europe, and is looking to expand their network. The Strategic Goals of GRAbTB are to: Identify research opportunities and facilitate collaborations within the Alliance; Conduct strategic and multi-disciplinary research to better understand bovine TB; Develop new and improved tools to control bovine TB; Serve as a communication and technology sharing gateway for the global bovine TB research community and stakeholders; and Promote collaboration with the human TB research community.

The current state of bovine TB research is covered in the Annual state-of-the art report on animal health research on IRC priorities.

Subscribe to news, events and research calls