, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 345-352
Date: 08 Jun 2008

Prevalence of bovine tuberculosis and animal level risk factors for indigenous cattle under different grazing strategies in the livestock/wildlife interface areas of Zambia

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A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the prevalence and animal level risk factors for bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in indigenous cattle of the livestock/wildlife interface areas in Zambia. A total of 944 cattle from 111 herds were investigated. The comparative intradermal tuberculin test (CIDT) was used to identify reactor animals for BTB. Animal level data on sex, age, parity and body condition score were registered. The overall animal prevalence of BTB as determined by the CIDT was 6.8% (95% CI: 4.2, 9.5%). In Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon areas, animal level prevalence were observed at 5.2% (95% CI: 2.2, 8.2%) and 9.6% (95% CI: 6.1, 13.2%), respectively. Kazungula, an area outside the livestock/wildlife interface, had a prevalence of only 0.8% (95% CI: 0.0, 2.3%). The age of the animal, its body condition score and the type of management system, were predictive of its BTB status. The study revealed that BTB was relatively high in the livestock/wildlife interface areas of Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon compared to Kazungula. These findings should raise a serious public health concern considering the extent to which the communities of the study areas are in contact with their animals and the levels at which they use untreated milk.