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Bovine TB

Bovine TB

C016/9608

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Computer illustration showing the reduction of cattle herds due to Bovine TB. Mycobacterium bovis is a slow-growing aerobic bacterium and the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle. Related to M. tuberculosis—the bacterium which causes tuberculosis in humans—M. bovis can also jump the species barrier and cause tuberculosis in humans and other mammals. The disease can be transmitted in several ways; for example, it can be spread in exhaled air, sputum, urine, faeces and pus, so the disease can be transmitted by direct contact, contact with the excreta of an infected animal, or inhalation of aerosols, depending on the species involved. Around 38, 000 cattle were slaughtered because of the disease in Britain in 2012.

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