Member highlight: The Zoonotic TB Sub-Section *

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious, contagious disease caused by mycobacteria. Different species of mycobacteria have complex cross-infection patterns between domestic animals, wildlife species and humans.

The Union’s Zoonotic TB Sub-Section is a global network of physicians, veterinarians, researchers, economists and social anthropologists working to understand the dynamics of zoonotic TB and create global awareness.

The human-animal interface has become a frontier of keen interest to a wide range of stakeholders, including The Union, who seek to understand host-pathogen interactions, especially in resource-limited settings.

Veterinarian Dr Alejandro Perera of Mexico studies bovine tuberculosis (M bovis), which brings both public health risks and economic losses from inspection and carcass condemnation to culling and farmer compensation.

Dr Perera has also participated in diagnosis and prevention research through a US-Mexico effort to create a bovine TB serum bank used to develop and validate new diagnostic tools.

Dr Adrian Muwonge is a Ugandan molecular epidemiologist working with the Roslin institute to understand the spread, diagnostics and evolution of the M tuberculosis complex at the animal-human-animal interface.

In addition to cattle and domestic livestock, bovine TB affects wild animals. US-based Dr Francisco Olea-Popelka has been involved in efforts to understand and control TB at the cattle-badger interface in Ireland.

Wild animals, such as lions, can get TB from eating infected prey. This lion is being tested using a bronchial wash to detect mycobacteria infection.

Even elephants get TB, usually the same type that affects humans: M tuberculosis. If you are interested in these issues, you are welcome to join The Union’s Zoonotic TB Sub-Section.

Member Highlight: The Zoonotic TB Sub-section