Over the past several decades, Mycobacterium bovis, the main etiological agent of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in cattle in Burkina Faso, has been isolated from cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and humans. Because of the lack of funding, its status in other species, including wildlife, is unknown. The role of M. bovis in the human tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in Burkina Faso is also difficult to assess due to the lack of diagnostic facilities. The close contact between pastoralists and their animals and the traditional consumption of raw milk in many communities emphasize the public health risk posed by M. bovis in Burkina Faso. Although BTB presents both economic and public health problems, there are many gaps in the understanding of its epidemiology in Burkina Faso. The prevalence of the disease in cattle appears to be influenced mainly by the type of husbandry system and the uncontrolled transhumant movement of livestock, including those from neighboring BTB-infected countries. In addition, the prevalence of BTB tends to be high on farms where large numbers of cattle are housed in a confined airspace. Currently, BTB is listed as a notifiable disease in Burkina Faso, but it is inadequately controlled due to the lack of financial resources and clear policies. The high prevalence of BTB in Burkina Faso makes it necessary to apply test-and-slaughter schemes to eradicate it from cattle herds. Pasteurization of milk and improved meat inspection in slaughterhouses are necessary to reduce its zoonotic risk.
Bovine tuberculosis Burkina Faso Cattle Epidemiology Public health West Africa Spoligotypes
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The author is grateful to Dr. Daouda Kassie, researcher in geography of health at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), for the map of Burkina Faso.
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