Cattle Tuberculosis

What is Cattle Tuberculosis?
Cattle tuberculosis is a chronic, debilitating disease of cattle caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis. Human tuberculosis is caused by a closely related type of bacteria and was historically known as "consumption". A variety of other species may be susceptible to cattle tuberculosis, including captive elk and exotic deer, bison, goats, swine, man and cats. Sheep and horses are rarely affected.
Cattle tuberculosis is primarily a respiratory disease affecting lungs and chest lymph nodes. Symptoms can include progressive weight loss, chronic cough, and unexplained death losses.
Tuberculosis (TB) has a long incubation period (months to years) and was once the most prevalent infectious disease of cattle and swine in the United States. Bovine TB caused more losses among U.S. farm animals in the early part of this century than all other infectious diseases combined. Through a cooperative state-federal program, bovine tuberculosis has been nearly eradicated from livestock in the US. Texas has been declared free of TB, but constant vigilance is crucial to maintaining that TB-free status.
For more information or questions about the Tuberculosis Program, please contact your local TAHC Region Office.


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