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Strategies for the eradication
of bovine tuberculosis



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TB-STEP Project

The key objective of the TB-STEP project is the development of rational strategies for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. This infection affects domestic and wild animals and represents a major concern worldwide because of its high economic impact due to mortalities, condemnations, decreases in productions, and its zoonotic potential. Eradication programmes based on a test-and-slaughter policy in the EU have proved successful in some countries, however, have been unable to eradicate the infection in others despite the use of vast economical resources.

A relevant problem is the existence of infected wildlife; the best known examples are the European badger (Meles meles) in UK and the Republic of Ireland, and the wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Spain. Besides this fact, there is only a limited knowledge about other potential underlying causes, such as - the real contribution of cattle-to-cattle transmission at the same area (neighbouring farms and communal pastures) or after movement of animals; - the role played in the epidemiology by other domestic animals, or - the effect of interferences in the diagnosis tests.

The weight of these causes may also differ depending on the farming system and ecological factors. Likely there is not a single solution as likely there is not a single cause. tb-step reservoirs

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