Bovine TB strain in latest outbreak new to Canada


By GFM Network News/Glacier FarmMedia Feed

via Canadian Cattlemen - January 9, 2019


Canada’s latest outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in domestic cattle involves a strain of TB bacteria not related to any previously seen in Canadian livestock or wildlife.


Culture testing of bacteria taken from a cow confirmed as TB-positive in November shows it’s “not related to past cases of bovine TB in Alberta or British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada,” the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Wednesday.


The agency also said Wednesday it has now tested the “majority” of animals from that infected cow’s home herd in British Columbia’s southern Interior, and has so far turned up three more TB-positive cattle in that herd.


No part of any of the four infected cattle ever entered the food chain, the agency said.


Federal chief veterinary officer Dr. Jaspinder Komal, on a conference call Wednesday with reporters, said the genetic type of the B.C. cow’s TB strain also does not match the one seen in Canada’s most recent previous bovine TB probe, nor any other isolates found in Canada.


That previous bovine TB probe — launched on the September 2016 discovery of a southern Alberta cow with the disease — also involved a strain never previously seen in Canadian livestock, wildlife or people but which was “closely related” to a strain originating from cattle in central Mexico in 1997.


Asked whether the B.C. cow’s strain is connected to any seen in the U.S. or abroad, Komal replied that to CFIA’s “very preliminary” knowledge, the strain doesn’t appear to match any yet seen in Canada or the U.S.


The infected B.C. cattle’s home premises...