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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Model assesses interventions for bovine tuberculosis in Morocco.

Researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have used a disease modeling approach to analyze the cost and effectiveness of interventions aimed at bovine tuberculosis among cattle in Morocco. In many developing countries, a significant fraction of the tuberculosis burden comes potentially from the tuberculosis bacteria carried by animals, essentially cattle. The efforts to reduce the tuberculosis burden therefore, must include strategies to reduce incidence of the bacteria in animals using "One Health" approach. Around 18 percent of cattle in Morocco carry Mycobacterim bovis, which can cause tuberculosis in humans who catch the bacteria from consuming raw milk or being in contact with infected animals. One previous study found that 17.8% of drug resistant TB among humans in Morocco was due to M. bovis rather than the classic Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The main strategy to control bovine tuberculosis (BTB)in Morocco is based on a test and slaughter scheme, but testing is not mandatory. In the study,researchers used a mathematical model of Bovine tuberculosis transmission from cattle to cattle and cattle to humans in order to assess the disease cost and simulate interventions. They assumed a prevalence of 18% among cattle and used annual data on cattle numbers collected by the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture. The model showed that the time for bovine tuberculosis elimination ranged from 12 years -- with a hundred percent tested -- to 75 years -- when only 20 percent of cattle were tested annually.The simulation also suggested that using a more conservative cutoff for a positive skin test for Bovine tuberculosis would result in cheaper and quicker elimination of the disease.