Evaluating the tuberculosis hazard posed to cattle from wildlife across Europe

JL Hardstaff, G Marion, MR Hutchings, PCL White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB) caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) and other closely related members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC) infects many domestic and wildlife species across Europe. Transmission from wildlife species to cattle complicates the control of disease in cattle. By determining the level of TB hazard for which a given wildlife species is responsible, the potential for transmission to the cattle population can be evaluated. We undertook a quantitative review of TB hazard across Europe on a country-by-country basis for cattle and five widely-distributed wildlife species. Cattle posed the greatest current and potential TB hazard other cattle for the majority of countries in Europe. Wild boar posed the greatest hazard of all the wildlife species, indicating that wild boar have the greatest ability to transmit the disease to cattle. The most common host systems for TB hazards in Europe are the cattle- deer-wild boar ones. The cattle-roe deer-wild boar system is found in 10 countries, and the cattle– red deer–wild boar system is found in five countries. The dominance of cattle with respect to the hazards in many regions confirms that intensive surveillance of cattle for TB should play an important role in any TB control programme. The significant contribution that wildlife can make to the TB hazard to cattle is also of concern, given current population and distribution increases of some susceptible wildlife species, especially wild boar and deer, and the paucity of wildlife TB surveillance programmes. 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S86 - S93
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue numberSupplement
Publication statusFirst published - 2014


  • Badger
  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Livestock
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC)
  • Officially tuberculosis free (OFT)
  • Red deer
  • Roe deer
  • Wild boar


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the tuberculosis hazard posed to cattle from wildlife across Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this