Mycobacteria in terrestrial small mammals on cattle farms in Tanzania

L Durnez, A Katakweba, H Sadiki, CR Katholi, RR Kazwala, RR Machang'u, F Portaels, H Leirs

    Research output: Contribution to journalA4: Article in journal not included in A1, A2 or A3peer-review


    The control of bovine tuberculosis and atypical mycobacterioses in cattle in developing countries is important but difficult because of the existence of wildlife reservoirs. In cattle farms in Tanzania, mycobacteria were detected in 7.3% of 645 small mammals and in cow's milk. The cattle farms were divided into 'reacting' and 'nonreacting' farms, based on tuberculin tests, and more mycobacteria were present in insectivores collected in reacting farms as compared to nonreacting farms. More mycobacteria were also present in insectivores as compared to rodents. All mycobacteria detected by culture and PCR in the small mammals were atypical mycobacteria. Analysis of the presence of mycobacteria in relation to the reactor status of the cattle farms does not exclude transmission between small mammals and cattle but indicates that transmission to cattle from another source of infection is more likely. However, because of the high prevalence of mycobacteria in some small mammal species, these infected animals can pose a risk to humans, especially in areas with a high HIV-prevalence as is the case in Tanzania.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Medicine International
    Issue number495074
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Bacterial diseases
    • Animal diseases
    • Bovine tuberculosis
    • Mycobacterium bovis
    • Reservoirs
    • Prevalence
    • Farms
    • Cattle
    • Mammals
    • Cow's milk
    • Insectivores
    • Rodents
    • Trapping
    • Specimen collection
    • Mathematical modeling
    • Infestation
    • Case detection
    • Tanzania
    • Africa-East


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