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Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination reduces the severity and progression of tuberculosis in badgers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Rushton, Dr Mark Shirley, Robbie McDonald

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Abstract

Control of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle has proven particularly challenging where reservoirs of infection exist in wildlife populations. In Britain and Ireland, control is hampered by a reservoir of infection in Eurasian badgers (Meles meles). Badger culling has positive and negative effects on bovine TB in cattle and is difficult, costly and controversial. Here we show that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination of captive badgers reduced the progression, severity and excretion of Mycobacterium bovis infection after experimental challenge. In a clinical field study, BCG vaccination of free-living badgers reduced the incidence of positive serological test results by 73.8 per cent. In common with other species, BCG did not appear to prevent infection of badgers subjected to experimental challenge, but did significantly reduce the overall disease burden. BCG vaccination of badgers could comprise an important component of a comprehensive programme of measures to control bovine TB in cattle.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers MA, Rogers F, Delahay RJ, Lesellier S, Ashford R, Dalley D, Gowtage S, Davé D, Palmer S, Brewer J, Crawshaw T, Clifton-Hadley R, Carter S, Cheeseman C, Hanks C, Murray A, Palphramand K, Pietravalle S, Smith GC, Tomlinson A, Walker NJ, Wilson GJ, Corner LAL, Rushton SP, Shirley MDF, Gettinby G, McDonald RA, Hewinson RG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Year: 2011

Volume: 278

Issue: 1713

Pages: 1913-1920

Print publication date: 01/12/2011

ISSN (print): 0962-8452

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2954

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.1953

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1953


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