Background: The feeding habits and close physical contact between Ethiopian farmers and their cattle promote the transmission of tuberculosis (TB) between the farmers and their cattle. This study aimed to investigate the transmission of TB between farmers and their cattle in smallholder farms in northwestern Ethiopia. Results: A total of 70 human TB lymphadenitis (TBLN) cases visiting the Felegehiwot Comprehensive Specialized Hospital in Bahir Dar City and 660 cattle were investigated. Half of the cattle were owned by households with TB cases, and the remaining half by TB free households. Among the 70 human TBLN patients interviewed, 65.7% (46 out of 70) of the respondents were not aware of zoonotic TB, and 67.1% (47/70) of them consumed raw milk. Positive cultures of TB were obtained in 40 of the 70 cases where TBLN tests were positive with fine needle aspiration cytology. Spoligotyping resulted in 31 different patterns, of which 25 isolates were Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis, and the remaining were M. africanum (4 isolates) and M. bovis (2 isolates). None of the animals showed positive test results for bovine TB by comparative intradermal tuberculin test. Conclusions: Based on the identification of M. bovis from two patients diagnosed with TBLN, we obtained preliminary evidence of zoonotic transmission of TB in northwestern Ethiopia. We did not identify a direct route of transmission between cattle and its owners. This is the objective of further investigations.
- Mycobacterium bovis
- Tuberculous lymphadenitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)