Navigation Links
Research reveals new clue in fight against TB in cattle

The failure of the current bovine tuberculosis (TB) eradication programme could be partly due to a parasitic worm that hinders the tests used to diagnose TB in cows, according to new research published this week.

Scientists at The Universities of Nottingham and Liverpool have discovered that a parasitic flatworm often found in cattle reduces the sensitivity of skin tests used to diagnose TB in the animals. The flatworm is called Fasciola hepatica, otherwise known as the common liver fluke.

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that in 2011 resulted in the slaughter of approximately 25,000 cattle in England, at a cost to the country of more than 90 million. Solutions for eradicating the infection have included badger culling, but new research, published in Nature Communications, now suggests that the spread of the disease may also be due to problems in diagnosing it in cattle infected with the common livestock disease.

In a study of more than 3,000 dairy herds in England and Wales, scientists at Liverpool and in collaboration with Nottingham, the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute, Stormont, and University College Dublin, found that liver fluke infection reduces the effectiveness of skin tests used to diagnose bovine TB, effectively creating false negatives for TB in some.

Co-author of the research, Dr Robin Flynn, from The University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science said: "We have been very interested in the ability of Fasciola hepatica to modulate host immunity for some time and this study is a worrying example of when this occurs in nature given an estimated 70-80 per cent of dairy herds show signs of liver fluke infection demonstrates the scale of this problem."

Professor Diana Williams, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: "Tests to diagnose bovine TB rely on inflammation of the skin in response to injected TB proteins, but if the animal also has liver fluke infection, this inflammation is suppressed, reducing the detection of bovine TB. This means that cattle infected with both liver fluke and bovine TB may not be identified by the current bovine TB surveillance scheme in operation in the UK."

Professor Matthew Baylis, co-author of the research from the Liverpool Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: "The potential consequences of these findings are that infected cattle can continue transmitting BTB to other cattle, to wildlife reservoirs and, if they are moved from their farm of origin, to other areas of the country. This may in part explain the continuing spread of bovine TB and the failure of the current eradication programme in the UK."

The research team suggests that this finding will help improve the future diagnosis of bovine TB and speed up eradication of the disease from the UK.

Contact: Emma Rayner
University of Nottingham

Related biology news :

1. Wistar Institute researcher receives New Innovator award from NIH
2. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
3. White Mountain Research Station to host climate change conference
4. Stevens awarded $1M for advanced biofuels research
5. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
6. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
7. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
8. Researcher working on destruction of chemical weapons
9. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
10. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
11. The Rett Syndrome Research Trust launches operations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered into ... and Harvard for use of its ArxLab cloud-based ... tools. The partnership will support the institute,s efforts ... chemical research information internally and with external collaborators. ... for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 09, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) policy ... and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the Future," ... Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has worked ... --> --> Synthetic biology promises ... to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is easier ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Imagine Exhibitions and Universal Partnerships & Licensing ... March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Immediately following the Australia premiere, ... dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, one of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 30, 2015 ... today that the company has acquired Cypher Genomics, Inc., ... and robust human genomic interpretation software solutions. The ... who will join HLI including Cypher CEO and Co-founder, ... head of HLI,s Pediatric Business.  Financial details of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 30, 2015  HUYA Bioscience ... China,s pharmaceutical innovations, today announced it ... Drug Development Fund (KDDF) to foster collaboration between KDDF ... development and commercialization of healthcare products for the global ... as an important source of new innovative preclinical and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is ... program that focuses on a daily routine for managing ... take their medication can affect the way the body ... follow to their a daily routine are important. The ... to help patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: