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What is Zoonotic Tuberculosis?

On farm
Image by Monthaye

Mycobacteria species from domestic and wild animals can be transmitted to humans and cause a form of tuberculosis (TB) known as zoonotic TB (ZTB).


These mycobacteria species belong to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). 

Mycobacterium bovis - the causal agent of bovine TB- is overwhelmingly the most studied pathogen causing ZTB globally, and thus, the vast majority of data, reports, and scientific publications on ZTB focus on M. bovis.


Other MTBC species including M. caprae, M. microti, M. orygis, and M. pinnipedii have been reported to cause ZTB in people.

Reverse ZTB occurs when M. tuberculosis (the causal agent of human TB) and other 'human adapted' MTC species (M. africanum and M. canetti)  infect and cause disease in other animal species.


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