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How is it transmitted?

Dairy Farming
Village Scene

The main route of transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to people is indirect. It is most commonly transmitted through the consumption of milk and other dairy products that have not been heat-treated. Less commonly, it can be transmitted through the consumption of raw or improperly cooked meat with tuberculous lesions containing M. bovis. Direct airborne transmission of M. bovis has also been reported from infected animals to people, as well as between people. 


Cultural practices can influence food consumption behaviors. In several regions of the world, dairy systems often lack specialized equipment for collecting, treating and processing milk, which may be influenced by cultural and/or economic factors. This places communities in these regions at risk of contracting food borne diseases, including ZTB. *

*  Roadmap for Zoonotic Tuberculosis, World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 2017

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