A cross-sectional study of bovine tuberculosis and its associated zoonotic risk factors in district Bahawalnagar, Punjab, Pakistan
Muhammad Yasir Zahoor1*, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Zia1*, Abdul Rehman1, Muhammad Avais2, Abrar Hussain1, Muhammad Bilal1, Anwar Mohsin Gill3, Muhammad Mustfeez Ur Rehman4
1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore Pakistan.
3 Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Punjab, Pakistan
4 Veterinarian, Bahawalnagar
*Corresponding Authors: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major zoonotic diseases with higher morbidity and mortality rates. An estimated 10M got infected while 1.4M died because of TB in 2019. A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the burden of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and associated risk factors in bovine papulation in district Bahawalnagar, Punjab, Pakistan. Cattle and buffalo were randomly selected from the 5 tehsils of district Bahawalnagar and screening was done for bTB using comparative cervical intradermal tuberculin test (CCIT) following the OIE recommendations. Further confirmation of the positive animals was done through IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The herdsmen were interviewed through a structured questionnaire for the risk assessment regarding bTB and its zoonosis. Univariate and multivariate analysis was used to measure the association between screened positive animals and different risk factors. Out of 340 animals screened, 4.1% were found positive by CCIT while the status of 2.6% was confirmed as positive by ELISA. The proportion of older animals (>5Y) was higher among infected (p<0.05). The variation in the prevalence of bTB was observed among the herds based on animal purchase source and herd size. Almost 27% of herdsmen were familiar with the bTB and only 6% knew the clinical signs of disease in animals. Only 13% of respondents knew the bTB could be zoonotic while only 2.6% were familiar with the way of its zoonotic transmission. A high-risk activity observed among herdsmen was to sell the infected animal in local markets instead of culling, hence putting the public at the risk of zoonotic TB. Our study findings highlight the importance of ‘One Health’ approach with a focus on the epidemiology of bTB and malpractices of herdsmen. There is also a need to develop some point of care diagnostic test for bTB for instant diagnosis and treatment along with educating the farmers regarding bTB and its zoonosis.