The intractable challenge of evaluating cattle vaccination as a control for bovine tuberculosis

Andrew James Kerr Conlan*, Martin Vordermeier, Mart C.M. de Jong, James L.N. Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vaccination of cattle against bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) has been a long-term policy objective for countries where disease continues to persist despite costly test-and-slaughter programs. The potential use of vaccination within the European Union has been linked to a need for field evaluation of any prospective vaccine and the impact of vaccination on the rate of transmission of bTB. We calculate that estimation of the direct protection of BCG could be achieved with 100 herds, but over 500 herds would be necessary to demonstrate an economic benefit for farmers whose costs are dominated by testing and associated herd restrictions. However, the low and variable attack rate in GB herds means field trials are unlikely to be able to discern any impact of vaccination on transmission. In contrast, experimental natural transmission studies could provide robust evaluation of both the efficacy and mode of action of vaccination using as few as 200 animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27694
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018

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