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FURTHER to my recent letter concerning a cluster of cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cats (VR, March 29, 2014, vol 174, pp 331-332), the short communication describing the clinical and epidemiological features of this cluster (Roberts and others 2014) and the accompanying editorial by Gunn-Moore (2014) raise a concern that a small number of nosocomial cases may occur, with transmission of M bovis infection occurring between cats via contamination within veterinary practices. There is a risk of environmental contamination with M bovis following clinical examination (many cases in the recently described cluster had non-healing or discharging infected wounds), surgical intervention, housing in kennels and postmortem examination of infected cats. This represents a risk, not only to other animals examined at the same premises, but also to people who come into contact with the contaminated environment.
I would therefore like to advise that appropriate environmental disinfection should be carried out at veterinary clinics following the examination of cats that are suspected of being infected with M bovis. It has been brought to my attention that the disinfectants that are effective against M bovis may differ from those routinely used in veterinary practices that examine companion animals. Veterinary practitioners who examine companion animals should therefore familiarise themselves with the appropriate disinfectants against M bovis and ensure that effective disinfection is carried out after patients with suspected M bovis infection are handled in the practice. A list of disinfectants, including dilution rates, approved for the control of tuberculosis in England, Scotland and Wales is provided at the following website: http://disinfectants.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Module=ApprovalsList_SI
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