Risk Factors Associated with the Occurrence of Bovine Tuberculosis in Cattle in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania
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A study was conducted in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania to determine the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis and the risk factors associated with the occurrence of the disease in cattle of different categories and in different climatic zones. The overall prevalence of the disease was 13.2%, and 51% of the herds tested contained reactor cattle. Assessment of risk factors was based on comparisons of the reactivity of the cattle in the single comparative intradermal tuberculin test (SCITT). Older cattle were more affected by the disease than yearlings and calves (p<0.0001). There were significant differences between male and female cattle (p<0.05) and between cattle with exotic blood compared to indigenous Short Horn Zebu (SHZ) cattle (p<0.05). The castrated bulls, often used for draught power, were more frequently (p<0.01) affected than the entire bulls, mainly used for breeding. Reactivity to tuberculin did not appear to be influenced by the reproductive status of the animal. The reactivity to tuberculin of pregnant cattle was not significantly different from that of the rest of the cows (p>0.05). However, significantly more (14.6%) lactating cattle reacted in the SCITT than did non-lactating cows (12.0%) (p<0.05). There was a highly significant difference (p<0.001) between reactivity in the SCITT among cattle grazing in the hot and dry lower lands (14.0%) and that in those grazing in the cool and wet highlands (8.7%).
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