Bovine tuberculosis shows genetic diversity throughout Africa

January 18, 2018, Public Library of Science
Mozambique cattle. Credit: Margarida Correia-Neves, 2017

Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis that affects cattle as well as other animals and humans. Now, by combining genotyping M. bovis samples from cows across African countries, researchers have been able to study the diversity and evolution of the disease. The new results are published this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

BTB is of global concern for multiple reasons—the on animal production, the potential spread to wildlife, and the risk of transmission to humans. While BTB is known to be widespread in Africa, limited data exists combining its prevalence and distribution across borders. Efforts to determine to what extent human tuberculosis is due to M. bovis are ongoing.

In the new work, Margarida Correia-Neves of the University of Minho, Portugal, and colleagues obtained 228 M. bovis samples from both small-scale and large commercial herds of cattle in 10 districts of Mozambique. They then genotyped each sample to determine how the strains were related, and used previous datasets to compare this data and integrate the results in a new phylogenetic tree with other M. bovis found throughout Africa.

The data revealed a deeply geographically structured diversity of M. bovis, with isolates from Mozambique falling into one of a handful of clades; some had a signature seen in the British Isles and former UK colonies, others represented sub-branches of the South African clade, and a third cluster suggested a local Mozambique clade. Overall, the results throughout Africa suggested that the diversity of M. bovis is unlikely to be shaped by the recent importation of cattle, but is maintained within regions through the constant reinfection of animals.

"It is of vital importance to continue the efforts made in Mozambique in order to completely characterize and understand the extent of BTB," the researchers say. "The information concerning M. bovis presented here represents a foundation stone in that process."

Explore further: Model assesses interventions for bovine tuberculosis in Morocco

More information: Machado A, Rito T, Ghebremichael S, Muhate N, Maxhuza G, Macuamule C, et al. (2018) Genetic diversity and potential routes of transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Mozambique. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(1): e0006147. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006147

Related Stories

Model assesses interventions for bovine tuberculosis in Morocco

February 2, 2017
n many developing countries, a significant fraction of the tuberculosis burden comes potentially from the tuberculosis bacteria carried by animals, essentially cattle. Efforts to reduce the tuberculosis burden, therefore, ...

Whole genome sequencing provides researchers with a better understanding of bovine TB outbreaks

September 3, 2013
The use of whole bacterial genome sequencing will allow scientists to inexpensively track how bovine tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted from farm to farm, according to research presented this week at the Society of General ...

Study provides first direct evidence linking TB infection in cattle and local badger populations

November 29, 2012
Transmission of tuberculosis between cattle and badgers has been tracked at a local scale for the first time, using a combination of bacterial whole genome DNA sequencing and mathematical modelling. The findings highlight ...

Want to end TB? Diagnose and treat all forms of the disease

March 24, 2017
Tuberculosis should be a specter of the past, something only our great-grandparents feared and died of. Alas, although almost all cases of TB today are both preventable and treatable, several different strains and manifestations ...

Recommended for you

Deadly Rift Valley fever: New insight, and hope for the future

July 19, 2018
Health control measures alone could be ineffective in the long term fight against the deadly Rift Valley fever which affects both humans and animals, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.

New guidelines to diagnose, manage rare endocrine disorders

July 19, 2018
International guidelines have been published for the first time to help doctors around the globe diagnose and manage patients with a very rare set of endocrine diseases known as pseudohypoparathyroidism and its related disorders, ...

Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered

July 19, 2018
With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community ...

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

July 18, 2018
Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows.

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.