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Identification of tuberculosis in cattle slaughtered in Mexico

Feliciano Milian-Suazo MVZ, PhD1, M. D. Salman DVM, PhD2, Carolina Ramirez MVZ, MC3, Janet B. Payeur DVM, PhD4, Jack C. Rhyan DVM, MS5, and Marco Santillan MVZ6
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  • 1 CENID-Microbiología, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias, Palo Alto, D. F. Delegación Cuajimalpa, 05110 México.
  • | 2 Department of Environmental Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, UAQ, 16 de Septiembre 63 Ote, C. P. 76000, Querétaro, México.
  • | 4 National Veterinary Services Laboratories, APHIS:USDA, 1800 Dayton Ave, PO Box 844, Ames, IA 50010.
  • | 5 National Veterinary Services Laboratories, APHIS:USDA, 1800 Dayton Ave, PO Box 844, Ames, IA 50010.
  • | 6 Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, UAQ, 16 de Septiembre 63 Ote, C. P. 76000, Querétaro, México.

Abstract

Objectives—To determine epidemiologic factors associated with tuberculosis (TB) in dairy cattle slaughtered in 6 important regions for milk production in Mexico.

Animals—2,500 cattle.

Procedure—Tissue specimens with lesions typical of TB were obtained during routine inspection of carcasses at abbatoirs between July 1996 and January 1997. Infection with Mycobacterium organisms was confirmed by histologic examination and bacteriologic culture. Species identification was made by use of selective growth medium, conventional biochemical tests, and radiometric procedures. Epidemiologic information for affected cattle was obtained by personal interviews with cattle dealers and owners.

Results—400 (16%) of 2,500 cattle carcasses had gross lesions typical of TB. Of the 400 infected cattle, 336 (84%) had lesions in ≥ 1 lymph node. Infection was confirmed in 87% of cattle with gross lesions by histologic examination, in 77% by bacteriologic culture at a laboratory in the United States, and in 59% by bacteriologic culture at a laboratory in Mexico. Most cattle were adult females in fair to good body condition that came from large herds (> 500 cattle) and were not included in the Mexican TB control program.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean prevalence of lesions typical of TB in dairy cattle at 6 locations in Mexico was 16%. Mycobacterium infection was confirmed by various techniques in most lesions. Recognition of typical gross lesions at slaughter may expedite TB control procedures. (Am J Vet Res 2000; 61:86–89)

Abstract

Objectives—To determine epidemiologic factors associated with tuberculosis (TB) in dairy cattle slaughtered in 6 important regions for milk production in Mexico.

Animals—2,500 cattle.

Procedure—Tissue specimens with lesions typical of TB were obtained during routine inspection of carcasses at abbatoirs between July 1996 and January 1997. Infection with Mycobacterium organisms was confirmed by histologic examination and bacteriologic culture. Species identification was made by use of selective growth medium, conventional biochemical tests, and radiometric procedures. Epidemiologic information for affected cattle was obtained by personal interviews with cattle dealers and owners.

Results—400 (16%) of 2,500 cattle carcasses had gross lesions typical of TB. Of the 400 infected cattle, 336 (84%) had lesions in ≥ 1 lymph node. Infection was confirmed in 87% of cattle with gross lesions by histologic examination, in 77% by bacteriologic culture at a laboratory in the United States, and in 59% by bacteriologic culture at a laboratory in Mexico. Most cattle were adult females in fair to good body condition that came from large herds (> 500 cattle) and were not included in the Mexican TB control program.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean prevalence of lesions typical of TB in dairy cattle at 6 locations in Mexico was 16%. Mycobacterium infection was confirmed by various techniques in most lesions. Recognition of typical gross lesions at slaughter may expedite TB control procedures. (Am J Vet Res 2000; 61:86–89)