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USDA Releases Report on the Introduction and Spread of Bovine TB

September 7, 2011

Source: USDA news release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released an assessment on the pathways for introduction and spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the United States. APHIS’s Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH) produced the 130-page report, Assessment of Pathways for the Introduction and Spread of Mycobacterium bovis in the United States, 2009, in March 2011.
Bovine TB was responsible for more losses among U.S. farm animals in the early 20th century than all other infectious diseases combined. USDA leads a cooperative eradication program to rid the country’s livestock of the disease. Since its creation in 1917, the eradication program has been very successful, with the majority of the country now free of bovine TB.
When infected animals are identified, USDA works diligently with local and state animal health officials to determine the source and extent of spread and to eradicate the infection. In 1992, USDA analyzed information collected during outbreaks to find out what caused the introduction and spread of the disease. Since then, there have been significant changes in the livestock industry and new information about disease spread is available.
The 2011 report provides a retrospective epidemiologic analysis of outbreaks that took place between 1998 and 2009 in four states (California, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico). After detailed analysis of the epidemiology of each of the four outbreaks, the report identifies and discusses several stakeholders' risk factors for the introduction and spread of bovine TB. The report also details several potential pathways for disease introduction and spread as well as practices that should decrease risk of infection.
The information contained in this assessment is intended to help identify new measures for controlling and preventing spread of this disease in the U.S.
Assessment of Pathways for the Introduction and Spread of Mycobacterium bovis in the United States, 2009, is available at:
For additional information on this topic, contact Lyndsay Cole at (970) 494-7410 or e-mail:

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