High prevalence and increased severity of pathology of bovine tuberculosis in holsteins compared to zebu breeds under field cattle husbandry in central Ethiopia

Gobena Ameni, Abraham Aseffa, Howard Engers, Douglas Young, Stephen Gordon, Glyn Hewinson, Martin Vordermeier

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134 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A comparative study on the prevalence and pathology of bovine tuberculosis (TB) was conducted on 5,424 cattle (2,578 zebus, 1,921 crosses, and 925 Holsteins), which were kept on pasture in the central highlands of Ethiopia, using a comparative intradermal tuberculin test, postmortem examination, and bacteriology. The overall prevalence of bovine TB was 13.5%; prevalence was higher in Holsteins than either zebus (22.2% versus 11.6%, χ2 = 61.8; P < 0.001) or crosses (22.2% versus 11.9%, χ2 = 50.7; P < 0.001). Moreover, the severity of pathology in Holsteins (mean ± standard error of the mean [SEM], 6.84 ± 0.79) was significantly higher (P = 0.018) than the severity of pathology in zebus (5.21 ± 0.30). In addition, the risk of TB in Holsteins was more than twice (odds ratio [OR] = 232; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.89, 2.85) that in zebus. Animals between 5 and 9 years of age were at higher (OR = 2.37; 95% CI = 1.80, 3.12) risk of bovine TB than those 2 years of age or below. A significant difference (χ2 = 351; P < 0.001) in the occurrence of TB lesions in lymph nodes was recorded; the mesenteric lymph node (mean pathology score ± SEM, 1.95 ± 0.08) was most severely affected, followed by the retropharyngeal (0.80 ± 0.05) and caudal mediastinal (0.8 ± 0.06) lymph nodes. Fifty-six percent (n = 145) of the animals with gross TB lesions were culture positive; the lowest culture positivity was recorded in the skin lesions (273%) and the lesions of the mesenteric lymph node (31.5%). Both the skin test response and the postmortem findings suggested a higher susceptibility to bovine TB in Holsteins than zebus under identical field husbandry conditions (on pasture). In the light of increased numbers of Holstein cattle introduced into this area to raise milk production to satisfy the needs of Addis Ababa's growing population, these findings highlight the need for a control program in these herds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1356-1361
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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