The Control of Mycobacterium bovis Infections in Africa: A One Health Approach

  • S. I. B. Cadmus
  • P. I. Fujiwara
  • J. A. Shere
  • B. Kaplan
  • C. O. Thoen


Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and zoonotic tuberculosis (zTB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis remain global problems, and the diseases are a threat to the health and welfare of humans, livestock, and wildlife. It is estimated that 28% of all cases of human TB, a proportion of which is caused by M. bovis, occurs in Africa, and this may be an underestimation of the number of cases. This situation prevails because of the poor diagnostics and limited data available on BTB in most of the African countries because of the lack of human and financial resources and of the will of politicians to implement BTB and zoonotic TB control programs. Data about the prevalence of zoonotic TB are equally scant and incomplete due to the poor diagnostic capacity and lack of surveillance for the disease, and the actual number of cases may exceed current estimates by far. Zoonotic TB may be far more prevalent than expected because of the extensive consumption of raw milk and cohabitation with cattle and other livestock that carry the infection. The ability in Africa to control both BTB and zBT is hampered by numerous factors including the presence of an increasing number of wildlife maintenance hosts of M. bovis that complicates controlling the disease even further. To deal with the threat of the diseases, and to be aligned with the international objectives of globally eradicating human and animal TB, African authorities will have to take concrete steps to do so. Their activities should be based on the principles of One Health that promote an integrated multidisciplinary approach with intergovernmental collaboration and global support, strengthened by joint medical and veterinary training programs, private–public partnerships, awareness programs, and focused research. These matters are discussed in this chapter.


Bovine tuberculosis Mycobacterium bovis Control Eradication One Health Zoonosis Zoonotic TB Africa Policy 



Partial funding support received by Simeon Cadmus from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, USA, under the Higher Education Initiative in Africa (Grant No. 97944-0-800/406/99) for the establishment of the Center of Control and Prevention of Zoonoses (CCPZ) at the University of Ibadan is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. B. Cadmus
    • 1
  • P. I. Fujiwara
    • 2
  • J. A. Shere
    • 3
  • B. Kaplan
    • 4
  • C. O. Thoen
  1. 1.University of IbadanIbadanNigeria
  2. 2.International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD)ParisFrance
  3. 3.United States Department of AgricultureWashington, DCUSA
  4. 4.One Health InitiativeSarasotaUSA

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