Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Veterinary Research and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Bovine tuberculosis slaughter surveillance in the United States 2001–2010: assessment of its traceback investigation function

Heather M Humphrey1, Kathleen A Orloski2 and Francisco J Olea-Popelka13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, Colorado, USA

2 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fort Collins 80523, Colorado, USA

3 Mycobacteria Research Laboratories (MRL), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, Colorado, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:182  doi:10.1186/s12917-014-0182-y

Published: 15 August 2014

Abstract

Background

The success of tracing cattle to the herd of origin after the detection and confirmation of bovine tuberculosis (TB) lesions in cattle at slaughter is a critical component of the national bovine TB eradication program in the United States (U.S.). The aims of this study were to 1) quantify the number of bovine TB cases identified at slaughter that were successfully traced to their herd of origin in the U.S. during 2001–2010, 2) quantify the number of successful traceback investigations that found additional TB infected animals in the herd of origin or epidemiologically linked herds, and 3) describe the forms of animal identification present on domestic bovine TB cases and their association with traceback success.

Results

We analyzed 2001–2010 data in which 371 granulomatous lesions were confirmed as bovine TB. From these 114 bovine TB cases, 78 adults (i.e. sexually intact bovines greater than two years of age), and 36 fed (i.e. less than or equal to two years of age) were classified as domestic cattle (U.S. originated). Of these adults and fed cases, 83% and 13% were successfully traced, respectively. Of these traceback investigations, 70% of adult cases and 50% of fed cases identified additional bovine TB infected animals in the herd of origin or an epidemiologically linked herd. We found that the presence of various forms of animal identification on domestic bovine TB cases at slaughter may facilitate successful traceback investigations; however, they do not guarantee it.

Conclusions

These results provide valuable information with regard to epidemiological traceback investigations and serve as a baseline to aid U.S. officials when assessing the impact of newly implemented strategies as part of the national bovine TB eradication in the U.S.

Keywords:
Bovine tuberculosis; Cattle; Slaughter surveillance; Traceback