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NO-ONE connected with farming or veterinary science could fail to know that bovine TB caused by Mycobacterium bovis is a major problem in cattle in Great Britain, especially in the west of England and Wales and, unfortunately, that its prevalence is increasing (Abernethy and others 2013). Most people are also aware that M bovis infects badgers (Gallagher and Clifton-Hadley 2000). However, people are generally less aware that in Great Britain, M bovis is now quite commonly found in cats, pigs, South American camelids (llamas and alpacas) and deer (Delahay and others 2007, Gunn-Moore and others 2011a, Broughan and others 2013), and it can be found less frequently in many other species, including dogs, goats, sheep, feral mink, ferrets, rats and mice (Delahay and others 2002, 2007, Broughan and others 2013). It is only by understanding the full complexity of M bovis ecology that we will eventually be able to control it.
M bovis infection in cats is of significant importance as feline TB is being recognised with increased frequency in Great Britain (Gunn-Moore and others 2011a). Approximately 1 per cent of feline tissue samples submitted to diagnostic laboratories for routine histopathology have been found to have changes consistent with mycobacteriosis (Gunn-Moore and others 2013) and, when cultured, M bovis is identified in 15 per cent of these samples (Gunn-Moore and others 2011a). Infected cats are almost exclusively from the west of England and Wales (Gunn-Moore …
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