Bovine Tuberculosis in Taiwan, 2008–2020

DOI: 10.6524/EB.202403_40(5).0002

Tai-Hua Chan, Ruwen Jou*

2024 Vol.40 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Ruwen Jou*

  • Center for Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


        Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a zoonosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis biovar bovis (M. bovis). The impact of bTB on global tuberculosis (TB) control has been underestimated. The pathogen is intrinsically resistant to pyrazinamide (PZA), which poses challenges to TB treatment and management. In this study, of the 24,717 culture-confirmed human TB cases reported during 2008–2020, there were 251 (1%) cases of bTB. Among these, 77.7% were male; 71.8% were aged over 45 years; 85.7% were new cases; 83.3% had pulmonary TB; and cases came mainly from central (51.0%) and southern (25.5%) Taiwan. Only 19.5% of bTB patients had known animal contacts. Among them, 49.0% had direct or indirect contact with deer. Of the human PZA-resistant M. bovis isolates, 29.1% were concurrently resistant to isoniazid (INH), and 1.6% were multidrug-resistant (defined as being resistant to at least INH and rifampin). The predominant genotype, SB0265/ MIRU 5-2-2-3-4-2-3-2-11-5-3, was prevalent in both human and livestock populations. Diagnosing bTB and detect its drug resistance are crucial for TB control. Comprehensive surveillance and integrated human-animal investigations are needed to align with the One Health approach.

Keywords:Bovine tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, One Health, drug resistance, genotype