Seroprevalence of bovine tuberculosis infection in yaks (Bos grunniens) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China
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Bovine tuberculosis (BTB), a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis, has been widely reported in bovines in developing countries, but there is little information on this infection in domestic yaks. Seroprevalence of antibodies to M. bovis in yaks from six and three regions of Tibet and Qinghai plateau, China, respectively, was investigated in 2011 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. A total of 1,244 (Tibet 938, Qinghai 306) blood samples was collected and the results showed that 24 (2.6 %) of Tibetan samples and 3 (1 %) of Qinghai's samples were positive for BTB. The findings of the present study indicated that M. bovis infection is prevalent in Chinese yaks in Qinghai and Tibet. These observations should raise a serious public health concern considering the extent to which the herdsmen of the study areas are in contact with their animals and the levels at which they use untreated livestock products. This is the first study showing the infection of M. bovis in domestic yaks.