Occurence of bovine tuberculosis in slaughtered cattle and risk factors to humans along the Lyantonde- Mbarara highway, Uganda
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Introduction: Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a zoonotic problem in pastoral communities in Uganda and the study area serves as stopover points for various travelers to Kampala the capital. Objectives: The study was carried out to determine the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in slaughter cattle along this highway and to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the various meat handlers regarding bovine tuberculosis along Lyantonde-Mbarara Highway for a period of one year. Methods: Ninety seven suspicious tuberculosis meat samples were collected and cultured using liquid culture for 8 weeks and speciation was done using PCR genomic deletion (Regions of difference) analysis and the HAIN Life science Genotype Mycobacterium CM and AS kits. One hundred and twenty respondents were interviewed using questionnaires. Results: An overall total of seven (7) were positive and belonged to the Mycobacteria Tuberculosis Complex (MTC) and six (6) samples were positive for Non tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM). The prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis was approximately 4.12% and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (2.1%). In the survey, most of the respondents (60.8%) were aware of tuberculosis in cattle but couldn’t associate the cause to be bacteria. The respondents couldn’t not easily differentiate cough in live animals and emaciation due to BTB and that due to other bacterial infections. Conclusion: There was a low prevalence of both bovine tuberculosis and human tuberculosis from the slaughtered fresh meat and that roasted on sticks and from the roadside meat sellers hence a need for vigilant meat inspection supported by an improved disease surveillance system to safe guard the health of travelers and the general public. Key words: Bovine tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, prevalence, slaughter houses and zoonosis.