Veterinary Record 159:265-271 doi:10.1136/vr.159.9.265

Introduction of bovine tuberculosis to north-east England by bought-in cattle

  1. R. Clifton-Hadley, MA, VetMB, PhD, MSc, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. 2 Tuberculosis Division, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ


The source of bovine tuberculosis was investigated in 31 herds in north-east England that experienced confirmed breakdowns between January 2002 and June 2004; nine of the herds had been restocked after the uk outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. In all but one of the breakdowns the most likely source of infection was identified as one or more purchased animals. In 17 of the breakdowns, reactor animals were traced to herds from which the same combination of spoligotype and variable number tandem repeats was isolated, and in five breakdowns a different spoligotype was isolated. The most likely sources were located in Wales and the west and north of England, and included a Cheshire herd that was the most likely source of nine of the breakdowns. Three breakdowns were traced to Irish imports. Reactors in five of the breakdowns included homebred as well as purchased animals, providing evidence for the likely spread of the disease within the herds. The lack of geographical clustering of molecular types pointed to the overwhelming source of infection being cattle that had been bought-in.

    Sign up for job alerts

    Vet Record Careers features a comprehensive database of vet jobs.
    Browse for your next job, or set personalised job alerts so you hear about vacancies as soon as they go online.
    Find out more at Vet Record Careers

    Free Sample Issue

    This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of the Veterinary Record.
    View free sample issue >>

    Navigate This Article