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Outbreak of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis in golden Guernsey goats in Great Britain
  1. R. Daniel, BVSc, BSc, MRCVS1,
  2. H. Evans, MA, BSc, VetMB, MRCVS2,
  3. S. Rolfe, BVetMed, MRCVS3,
  4. R. de la Rua-Domenech, DVM, PhD, DipECVPH, MRCVS4,
  5. T. Crawshaw, BVetMed, MRCVS5,
  6. R. J. Higgins, BVM&S, MSc, MRCVS,
  7. A. Schock, PhD, FRCPath, MRCVS6 and
  8. R. Clifton-Hadley, MA, VetMB, PhD, MSc, MRCVS7
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) — Carmarthen, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ
  2. 2 Animal Health, Ty Merlin, Parc Pensarn, Carmarthen SA31 2NF
  3. 3 TB Team, Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Welsh Assembly Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ
  4. 4 TB Programme, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
  5. 5 VLA — Starcross, Staplake Mount, Starcross, Exeter EX6 8PE
  6. 6 VLA — Lasswade, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
  7. 7 VLA — Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB


An outbreak of caprine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis was disclosed in June 2008, affecting goats of the golden Guernsey breed kept on 10 separate smallholdings in south-west Wales and the west of England. Following the initial diagnosis at postmortem examination, 30 goats that reacted positively to the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin (SICCT) test, together with five in-contact animals, were euthanased and subjected to postmortem examination and mycobacterial culture. Spoligotyping and variable number tandem repeat analysis of isolates showed that they were all of the same genotype, endemic to south-west Wales. Retrospective movement tracings identified a goat herd in south-west Wales, by then completely dispersed, as the probable common source of infection. There was a perfect correlation between the SICCT test and culture results in all slaughtered goats. Grossly visible tubercular lesions were observed at postmortem examination in all but one reactor.

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