, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 133-139
Date: 20 Aug 2010

First-time detection of mycobacterium species from goats in Ethiopia

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Tuberculosis (TB) is an important zoonosis affecting a wide range of hosts. An abattoir study was conducted on 1,536 randomly selected male goats slaughtered at Modjo Modern Export Abattoir to determine the prevalence of tuberculosis in slaughtered goats. Carcasses and organs of all the study animals were first examined by routine meat inspection followed by detailed meat inspection. Samples from tuberculous lesions were cultured for mycobacterial isolation and identification. Histopathology was done on 31 samples with tuberculous lesions. Detailed meat inspection detected 65 (4.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.3–5.4%) tuberculous lesions. From these, 20 (30.8%) samples were confirmed mycobacterium positive on culture, out of which 18 were Mycobacterium bovis and two were Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Routine meat inspection failed to detect tuberculous lesions in 23% of carcasses with TB lesions detected by detailed examination. However, no statistically significant difference was observed between both methods in detecting tuberculous lesions (Kappa = 0.87). Origin and age of the goats did not statistically affect the disease prevalence (P > 0.05). Histopathologic lesions were observed in 21 samples (68%; 95% CI = 50.1–81.4%) out of the 31 carcasses with gross tuberculous lesions examined by histopathology. Eighteen (58%) tuberculous samples positive for histopathology were also culture positive. The sensitivity and specificity of histopathology were 90% (95% CI = 76.9–100%) and 72.7% (95% CI = 46.4–99%), respectively, using culture as a reference test. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of caprine tuberculosis from Ethiopia. Further studies are required at the farm level to determine the prevalence of tuberculosis in the general goat population.