Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is generally viewed as a disease of cattle and domesticated bovines. However, there are cycles of spillover of the agent which function in certain niches, especially in peri-sylvatic ecosystems where interactions between domesticated bovines and wild cervids (deer) or other wild bovines (wildbeeste) may create vulnerabilities. Since it is especially difficult to monitor the disease in wild populations, such spillovers may be difficult to detect and have extensive impact before effective interventions are implemented. The identification of bTB in wild cervids in South Eastern Indiana in the United States thus serves as a reminder of this difficult issue.
An article published in The Lancet today has highlighted the possibility of establishing a World Serology Bank to better understand the dynamics of infectious disease dynamics, especially in an era where vaccinations against infectious diseases is becoming more and more prevalent. With rapid advance in diagnostic technologies, there has been impressive progress in what used to be tedious and time consuming tests. Now, using multiplex technology, a number of samples can be tested at one go, often for a number of pathogens, therefore, cutting the time requirement exponentially! However, it essentially remains a developed world solution for a problem that largely affects low and middle income countries. Image Credits: MedPage Today