Defra has just published its 2004 report into Zoonotic Diseases.
mycobacterium bovis, or Bovine Tb is mentioned and it is on the increase.
Described as being present in cattle ' and wildlife' in some regions of the UK, the greatest proportion of confirmed human infection is in England and Wales.
The report points out that pasteurisation of milk in the early 1950's "significantly reduced human infection with this organism from levels recorded prior ".
It describes current data:
"In England and Wales in 2004, there were 15 (provisional data) laboratory reports of tuberculosis due to m.bovis, an increase on the total (13 revised) from the previous year.
But points out that:
"None of the cases in 2004 had a known current link with the disease in cattle, although one case had previous occupational exposures in agriculture".
The report also explains that potential causes of cross infection to human beings from m.bovis include:
"the effect of a reservoir of the disease in wild species (including the badger)"
And we thought the name of that black and white wildlife reservoir, was a name Defra dare not speak. The complete report can be viewed at:
(This report is a very large file)