Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 275–283 | Cite as

Responses to tuberculin among Zebu cattle in the transhumance regions of Karamoja and Nakasongola district of Uganda

  • J. Oloya
  • J. Opuda-Asibo
  • B. Djønne
  • J. B. Muma
  • G. Matope
  • R. Kazwala
  • E. SkjerveEmail author
Original Article


Responses to tuberculin in Zebu cattle of the transhumant pastoral farming system in Karamoja region and Nakasongola district in the north-eastern and mid-central regions in Uganda, respectively, were investigated using a comparative intradermal tuberculin skin test. Of the 1864 cattle tested from 30 large units (superherds) in Karamoja and 7 herds in Nakasongola, a total of 28 animals from 19 herds (51.4%) tested positive. Inter-district tuberculin reactor prevalence variations seemed to be influenced by climate, with impact on both the management patterns and transmissibility of agent. High herd tuberculin reactor prevalence (51.4%) was attributed to widespread contacts and mixing of animals between herds. Low individual animal tuberculin test positivity (mean = 1.4%) was attributed to low transmissibility of the agent under the Karamoja climate, which is semi-arid, and to increased resistance due to non-specific response to environmental mycobacteria and natural selection, since there was no active control against bovine tuberculosis. Owing to similarities in management practices in Karamoja and widespread risk factors, it was difficult to identify which were more important, but variations in sources of drinking water pointed to provision of lake and borehole water during dry season as reducing the risk. Positive bovine tuberculin reactor prevalence and skin reactor status were related to age.


Prevalence Bovine tuberculosis Transhumance Zebu cattle Uganda 



bovine tuberculosis


purified protein derivative


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Oloya
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Opuda-Asibo
    • 1
  • B. Djønne
    • 3
  • J. B. Muma
    • 4
  • G. Matope
    • 5
  • R. Kazwala
    • 6
  • E. Skjerve
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive MedicineMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Department of Food Safety and Infection BiologyNorwegian School of Veterinary ScienceOslo
  3. 3.National Veterinary InstituteOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Disease Control, School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  5. 5.Department of Paraclinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  6. 6.Sokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania

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