Status of Bovine Tuberculosis in Ethiopia: Challenges and Opportunities for Future Control and Prevention

  • Demelash B. Areda
  • Adrian Muwonge
  • Asseged B. Dibaba


Ethiopia has the largest cattle population in Africa, of which about 80% belongs to rural subsistence farmers, but with the increasing urbanization, intensive dairy farming is increasing in the urban areas. Traditional smallholder dairy farms produce 97% of all the milk in the country, and over 75% of milk is delivered to commercial processors. Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an endemic disease of economic significance in Ethiopia where it affects cattle, sheep, goats, and camels. In a recent study in central Ethiopia where commercial dairy farming is widely practiced, 90% of the herds were positive for BTB, and a prevalence of as high as 41.3% was recorded in some of the large dairy herds. The dissemination of the disease appears to be dependent on two main practices: pastoralism and the search for and the location of markets. The number of M. bovis infections in humans in Ethiopia has been reported to be low, but it is likely to be substantial because of the high prevalence of the diseases in livestock. Despite the high prevalence of BTB in animals and the risk of zoonotic infection, control and preventative measures for the disease in both the human and animal populations are virtually nonexistent in the country. The ministerial occupational health and safety directives make no provision for dealing with BTB, and the Ethiopian Occupational Health Team under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) does not recognize M. bovis infections as an occupational risk, and its role in the human TB epidemic is disregarded. The lack of a mandatory test-and-slaughter policy, the absence of livestock movement control, animal identification and a tracking system, and the general lack of knowledge and awareness about isolation and quarantine practices are some of the challenges that make the future prevention and control of BTB in Ethiopia a daunting task.


Bovine tuberculosis Control and prevention Ethiopia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Demelash B. Areda
    • 1
  • Adrian Muwonge
    • 2
  • Asseged B. Dibaba
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Science Engineering and Technology (CSET)Grand Canyon UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.The Roslin Institute, College of Medicine and Veterinary MedicineUniversity of EdinburghMidlothianUK
  3. 3.Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary MedicineTuskegee UniversityTuskegeeUSA

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