Mycobacterium bovis is the causative agent of tuberculosis in animals and can cause tuberculosis in humans clinically indistinguishable from that caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis have significantly decreased prevalence in developed countries. However, some countries have found it impossible to eradicate bovine tuberculosis due to the presence of a wildlife reservoir of M. bovis. In Michigan, USA there exists a reservoir of M. bovis in free-ranging white-tailed deer. Vaccination with M. bovis BCG is one approach to controlling tuberculosis in wildlife. Nevertheless, use of a live vaccine generates concerns about exposure risk to non-target species, including domestic livestock. Unintentional exposure of cattle to BCG may result in increased numbers of false positive tuberculin skin test reactions.
Last date updated on June, 2014