Article Text


Disinfection procedures and TB in cats
  1. Nigel Gibbens
  1. Chief Veterinary Officer, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
  1. e-mail: nigel.gibbens{at}

Statistics from

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:


View Abstract

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.