New approach needed on bovine TB

17 Oct 2020

Cutler, K.

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Are we looking for the wrong thing and approaching a complex disease situation in the wrong way?

After very many years of working to control and attempting to eradicate bovine TB (bTB) based on a ‘test-and-cull’ programme, an acknowledgement, in the form of badger culling licences, has been made that such an approach in isolation is doomed to failure. Instead, using validated serological testing and a risk-based approach, similar to that successfully employed in the management and control of Johne’s disease (and as promoted by CHeCS), another mycobacterial disease with similar challenges for the farmer and clinician as bTB, might seem to be the way forward.

The wildlife reservoir of bTB is a risk factor for this disease, but it is not the only risk factor for herds breaking down with bTB. It is known and acknowledged by the APHA that most single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin test (SICCT)inconclusive...