Jacobs Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Bovine Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacteria in Animals in Ethiopia: A Systematic Review

*Rea Tschopp
Department Of Health, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author:
Rea Tschopp
Department Of Health, Ethiopia

Published on: 2018-05-29


Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in Ethiopian livestock. Disease prevalence varies greatly by species, geography, husbandry system and diagnostic methods used. A substantial body of work has been done on BTB prevalence in Ethiopia over the last decade, the true burden of BTB however, is still largely unknown. This review highlighted gaps and weakness in BTB diagnostics and the urgent need to standardize/harmonize testing methods. It discusses the prevalence of M. tuberculosis and Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) in livestock and their possible interference with the BTB diagnostic methods. This paper finally discusses possible control options for the disease, particularly in the intensive milk farm systems in the wake of increased and or emerging dairy farms in the country.


Bovine tuberculosis, Mycobacteria


Mycobacteria are widespread organisms including species found ubiquitously in the environments (e.g. Non Tuberculosis Mycobacteria spp), and species that are obligate parasites such as those belonging to the Mycobacteria Tuberculosis Complex (MTC) or M. leprae that causes leprosy in humans [1]. MTC comprises a group of genetically closely related agents namely, M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, M.canetti, M. caprae and M. pinipedii [2, 3]. M. tuberculosis is classically a human pathogen, whereas M. bovis infects primarily cattle. However, MTCs are not strictly host specific and can have zoonotic or anthropozoonotic character. Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a chronic disease caused by M. bovis. The disease is endemic in Ethiopian cattle and has been documented since decades. Livestock remain the backbone of Ethiopia’s livelihood and economy, with over 80% of the population engaging in agriculture. The country has the biggest cattle herd in Africa with over 50 million heads and in total over 100 million livestock [4]