Bovine tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that belongs to the members of mycobacterium tuberculosis or M.bovis. It is spread through cattle or livestock. Many domesticated species like sheep, goats, pigs, dogs, and cats can spread this bacteria to humans. Wildlife animals like boars, deer, and antelopes can also spread these nodules called tubercles that cause tuberculosis. Infected animals can infect humans with the same nodules. Although the infections are controlled in many countries, it is a severe problem in developing countries. In this blog, we will learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of Bovine tuberculosis.

How is bovine TB transmitted to humans? 

Tuberculosis is transmitted to humans by infected cattle, primarily through pasteurized milk and eggs. Or milk products like curd yogurt and cheese. These products contain the bacterium that can result in the transmission of bacteria due to exposure and bacteria in the air near live stocks or their carcasses. On very rare occasions, this bacteria can be introduced to the human body via wounds while working on the farm or others in the vicinity of the farm.

Bovine Tuberculosis Symptoms – 

  • Bovine tuberculosis involves issues with the lungs, lymph nodes, and digestive system organs.
  • Initial symptoms of bovine tuberculosis include cough, fever, night sweats, chest pain, and loss of appetite. People with tuberculosis can spread it to others; treating it with medications becomes essential. 
  • People with tuberculosis must be treated with medications to protect their health. 
  • Most people with Bovine tuberculosis do not get sick, as their bacterias are dormant; however, infected people with bovine tuberculosis should be on drugs irrespective of active or inactive bacteria.
  • Mainly very young and older adults with weak immune systems tend to have a chance of developing bovine TB diseases. 

Also, Read Tuberculosis Symptoms, Signs, And Prevention Tips.

Diagnosis of Bovine Tuberculosis –

In the diagnosis of tuberculosis, the doctor observes the lymph nodes for swelling. He then checks the lungs with a stethoscope to identify the cause of the cough.

Skin test –

The skin test is the initial stage of diagnosis of tuberculosis and is quite common. The first step is injecting a small tuberculin into the skin or the forearm; one can feel a little needle prick. It will take 48 to 72 hours for the healthcare professional will check the arm for swelling. A hard red and raised bump can mean a tuberculosis infection is present in the body. The size of the bumps can indicate the severity of the condition.

The results of skin tests are only sometimes confirmatory.

The bovine tuberculosis skin test can also predict false positive results. It can give a bovine tuberculosis-positive bacterial test but also indicate it if you don’t have it. Though this is the traditional test procedure, it should not be a confirmation of Bovine Tuberculosis.

Blood tests –

A blood test can confirm the strains of bacteria present in the blood and detect if blood tests are active for tuberculosis. These tests also help measure your immune response to different bovine tuberculosis bacteria. These tests are helpful in case you believe you have a negative response to the skin test and a negative response to the skin test.

Imaging tests –

Imaging tests are X-rays and CT scans that help get a clear image of the lung that the bacteria are walled off by showing white spots. The immune system walls off these white spots, and these imagining can also reveal lung changes.

Sputum tests –

A sputum test is a sample of your mucus after coughing. This sample is tested for TB bacteria and is a diagnostic measure. These samples can also check the body’s resistance towards the samples of medicines and help the doctor understand which medication will work for the doctor. Getting these results can take from about four to eight weeks.

Also, Read What does Monkeypox look like? How to distinguish the rash from pimples?

What is the Bovine Tuberculosis Treatments?

Inactive or active bacteria in tuberculosis should be according to the recommendations and medications. The risk of developing active bovine tuberculosis bacteria is very high, and the course of antibiotics can be taken with a medicine of at least six to nine months.

The exact drug and length of treatment depend on the age, overall health, and drug resistance where the infection is in the body. Hence, one should consult with a doctor.

Most common TB Drugs

If you have latent tuberculosis, you must take two or more drugs to remove it from the system. TB drugs are particularly drug-resistant and will require severe; drugs The most common medicines include.

Drugs that can help with drug resistance include:

  • Bedaquiline (Sirturo)
  • Linezolid (Zyvox)

Medication side effects 

There are side effects of medications. All tuberculosis can result in toxicity to your liver. When these medications are regular, there can be many side effects –

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow color to your skin (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Blurred vision

Completing treatment is essential – 

It is essential to complete the treatment of tuberculosis as this will get you away from spreading contagious diseases and help you feel better. Do not stop taking drugs under any circumstance. You should finish the medicine till the full course of therapy. Then, take the medication as per the prescription. Stopping the treatment sooner and skipping the doses may increase bacteria infection and rapid drug resistance, leading to tuberculosis, which is more dangerous and difficult to deal with.


Can bovine tuberculosis be a severe threat to life?

Yes, but in some rare cases. Bovine tuberculosis can also have severe and fatal risks to humans and livestock. That is mainly due to the routine testing and slaughtering of cattle and their pasteurization for milk.

Is it possible to prevent tuberculosis?

The risk of infection and bovine tuberculosis can be reduced by simple precautions like proper ventilation and getting enough sunlight to kill TB bacteria. For example, UV light can kill Bacteria; good hygiene can prevent tuberculosis from spreading.

What is the success rate of tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis treatments are successful in 90% of cases. But the treatment is rigorous and should be continued till the end.

What are the solutions for preventing the spread of tuberculosis?

Solutions to help prevent tuberculosis are identification, isolation, and treatment. Many different administrative procedures can also prevent the spread of tuberculosis.

 Summary – 

Cattle and livestock spread bovine tuberculosis. These diseases can cause fever, cough, night sweats, and fatigue. Though this disease has many symptoms, it is infectious and should be appropriately medicated. It is essential to complete the entire course of tuberculosis as the infection can reappear. The diagnosis test is dependent on the results of the skin test. There are some medical drugs available to cure bovine tuberculosis. If you have drug resistance or side effects, consult your doctor.

You May Also Like