Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain

Suzanne Bailey, Timothy Crawshaw, Noel Smith, Christopher James Palgrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), infects a wide range of wild and domestic mammals. Despite a control programme spanning decades, M. bovis infection levels in cattle in Great Britain (GB) have continued to rise over recent years. As the incidence of infection in cattle and wildlife may be linked to that in swine, data relating to infection of pigs identified at slaughter were examined in this study. Between 2007 and 2011, almost all M. bovis-infected pigs originated from farms in the South-West and West-Midland regions of England.

The data suggest that pigs raised outdoors or on holdings with poor biosecurity may be more vulnerable to infection with M. bovis. In the majority of cases, the same strains of M. bovis were found in pigs and cattle, despite that fact that direct contact between these species was rarely observed. Genotyping and geographical mapping data indicated that some strains found in pigs may correlate better with those present in badgers, rather than cattle. In consequence, it is proposed that pigs may represent a useful sentinel for M. bovis infection in wildlife in GB. Given the potential implications of this infection for the pig industry, and for the on-going effort to control bovine TB, the importance of understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of M. bovis infection, as well as monitoring its prevalence, in pigs should not be underestimated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Journal
Volume198
Issue number2
Early online date10 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Pig (Sus scrofa)
  • Badger (Meles meles)
  • Wildlife

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '<em>Mycobacterium bovis</em> infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Bailey, S., Crawshaw, T., Smith, N., & Palgrave, C. J. (2013). Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain. Veterinary Journal, 198(2), 391-397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.035