Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) - Emergence - Your Guide to Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
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Total Reported Outbreaks
Total Affected Countries
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Key Facts
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Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic bacterial disease affecting cattle and other mammals, which is reportable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

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Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB)

Some countries are free of the disease, whereas it is endemic in others. Find out where the latest reported outbreaks are with this map.

Key Facts
Clinical Signs

Due to the slow development of this disease, infected animals may not show clinical signs until the later stages. The clinical signs are non-specific and may include lethargy, weakness, reduced appetite, recurrent light fever, swollen lymph nodes, cough, and/or chronic mastitis. This means that infected animals may not be easily identified.


There is no effective treatment currently.


Control of bTB generally involves identifying infected animals and removing them from the herd (test and slaughter/segregation). Movement controls, post mortem meat inspection, and legislation are also important factors. Skin testing using the single intradermal tuberculin test (which detects a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to the intradermal injection of tuberculin) has been used for many years around the world. Whilst there are various versions of the test used for routine screening of cattle for bTB the basic principle is the same.

Bovine Tuberculosis - Cows in a field
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Focus On… Bovine Tuberculosis: Production of bovine and avian tuberculin at Serumwerk Memsen, WDT
Here we present Dr Peter Schaufuss, Veterinarian, Specialist in Microbiology, Head of Production, Serumwerk Memsen, WDT, Germany; Dr Ursula Groner, Veterinarian, Serumwerk Memsen, WDT, Germany, in interview with the Intergovernmental…
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Exploring New Frontiers in Animal Health at EPIZONE
I’m a final year DPhil student studying at The Pirbright Institute and the University of Oxford. My studies are partly sponsored by MSD Animal Health. This has included a 3-month placement with the International Veterinary Health (IVH) team, where I’ve been enjoying getting a new perspective on the cooperation between research and industry, and learning more about logistics, global partnerships and communicating with varying audiences. At the start of my placement I attended EPIZONE, an annual conference focusing on epizootic animal diseases, where I shared my work, and connected with Kasia Bankowska (Associate Director, Quality Assurance, Biomaterials Team) and Erwin van den Born (Principal Scientist, Global R&D) from MSD Animal Health. From left: Erwin van den Born, Kasia Bankowska, Charlotte Cook In May, the 14th Annual Meeting of the EPIZONE network took place in Barcelona at the World Trade Centre after two years of hiatus, bringing together some of the most exciting and novel research into epizootic animal disease. Increasingly, emerging and transboundary diseases such as African swine fever and lumpy skin disease present challenges to farmers and economies across the world. Conferences such as EPIZONE enable scientists and professionals from a range of fields with a common interest in animal health to meet, network, and share their work with the wider community. I was fortunate enough to present my work on the impact of the stable fly Stomoxys calcitrans on lumpy skin disease (LSD) pathogenesis in the Vector Borne Diseases session. My work, which presented an in vivo study of three novel LSD virus (LSDV) inoculation methodologies unpicking LSDV transmission (read more in this article Unraveling the Transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus), was the culmination of a PhD project partly funded by MSD Animal Health . Though nerve wracking to present in front of my scientific colleagues after years of presenting virtually, it was well received, with plenty of questions being asked after the presentation, and in the coffee break! Charlotte Cook at Epizone presenting her work on the impact of stable fly on LSD, Barcelona, Spain. There were many fascinating talks, spanning a range of hosts and diseases. A standout talk for me was a keynote talk by Dr Sofie Dhollander from the European Food Safety Authority on the prevention and control of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar populations. As this disease is rapidly spreading across Europe, it was very interesting to see how modelling wild boar management strategies and their impact on different locations could aid in the control of this virus. Overall, there was a positive perception of control approaches being developed around the globe and a sense of cautious optimism towards reducing the spread, which came through in a lot of discussions. “Due to the current global outbreak of African swine fever, the disease continues to get a lot attention. The overall feeling is that we are close to an efficacious and safe live-attenuated ASF vaccine that is ready for the market, but I feel that we still need to understand how safe these gene-deleted vaccine strain really are, as most of them are based on highly virulent field isolates.” said Erwin van den Born, Principal Scientist R&D Swine Biologicals MSD Animal Health. Lesser-known emerging diseases were also given a spotlight. As a keen foodie, it was fascinating to hear about hepatitis E in pigs and its relationship with Corsican sausages! Kasia also enjoyed the emerging and re-emerging diseases session, “especially the talks on pathogenicity of yet another Pestivirus and the detection of Borna Disease Virus in a subfamily of shrews in Germany.” Pestiviruses were a hot topic this conference, with many talks and posters focusing on them. Erwin added: “I did like the talk from CReSA on the recently discovered Ovine pestivirus (OVPV). It can actually infect pigs, and can even be used to immunize pigs and protect them against a Classic swine fever virus challenge.” After years of virtual meetings and symposia, it was wonderful to meet scientists in person from across Europe in a sunny and convivial setting. The theme of the meeting was “New horizons, new challenges”, and that was definitely achieved - I feel even more motivated to share my work and continue communicating the importance of addressing animal health and disease as we look to make the world a healthier place. Before you go: Find out more about lumpy skin disease.Read about Groundbreaking research on transmission of lumpy skin disease .Explore the African swine fever resources in our Knowledge Hub.Learn more about transboundary and emerging diseases. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of MSD Animal Health. Photo credits: Charlotte Cook, Kasia Bankowska.
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Wishing You Well for 2022
Have a wonderful end of the year, enjoy time with families and friends, and we will see you, reinvigorated and recharged, in 2022.
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A Spring of Change
Change can be challenging, but together, as a community, we can support each other and reach our goal of One Health One Welfare.
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Website - bTB - TB Hub - Bovine TB advice & Tuberculosis information for cattle farmers
The ‘go-to’ place for British beef and dairy farmers for practical advice on dealing with bovine TB on their farm.
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Welcoming 2021
Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Last year was a complex one for transboundary and emerging diseases.  The pandemic brought the issue of One Health diseases to the fore, and this has had an important impact on how the world focuses on controlling these diseases.  However, it also meant a lot of funds were diverted from on-going control programs in order to deal with the emergency.  This could mean that, in the short-term, we are going to see a resurgence of certain viruses. What is clear is that we need to get better with our surveillance, both of the known diseases and of those emerging in the human:animal interface.  And this is where technology is coming in to play.  There are a lot of exciting developments that could change our knowledge and ability to predict where our focus needs to be.  Drones not only allow us to start delivering vaccines to areas previously difficult to access, but they can also be used for animal surveillance, helping us to learn more about animal numbers and movements, both domestic and wildlife.  Social media platforms allow us to hear people’s voices and to see new disease outbreaks in real time.  Improved animal tracking helps us follow not just where animals have come from, but also to retrospectively go back and find the nodes from where disease spreads.  These are exciting times. For the International Veterinary Health Team, innovation is a driver.  It is part of our everyday intent to discover improved ways of bringing you information.  The emergence podcast has allowed us to have interviews with experts, the new website is more interactive than ever, we hosted a virtual stand at the EuFMD OS20 meeting, and we started the Rabies 360 Challenge to leverage social media in raising awareness to rabies. Reach out to us with suggestions of topics you would like covered on the podcast and on the website.  We want to bring you the information that you need, and the best way for us to ensure that is by hearing from you. We will continue to look at new technologies and to explore just how they can help us all in the One Health community to bring improved health and welfare to animals and humans alike.  This is our commitment in looking forward to this year.
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Leavepiece - International Veterinary Health (IVH) team of MSD Animal Health
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Focus On… Bovine Tuberculosis: Production of bovine and avian tuberculin at Serumwerk Memsen, WDT
Here we present Dr Peter Schaufuss, Veterinarian, Specialist in Microbiology, Head of Production, Serumwerk Memsen, WDT, Germany; Dr Ursula Groner, Veterinarian, Serumwerk Memsen, WDT, Germany, in interview with the Intergovernmental Veterinary Health team, MSD Animal Health.
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