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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 869146, 8 pages
Research Article

Tuberculosis in Goats and Sheep in Afar Pastoral Region of Ethiopia and Isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from Goat

1Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 34, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
3Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Health and Society, Department of Community Medicine, International Community Health, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern N-0318 Oslo, Norway
4Afar Pastoral Agricultural Bureau, Afar Pastoral Region, P.O. Box 73, Semera, Ethiopia

Received 3 February 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: Michael D. Welsh

Copyright © 2012 Gezahegne Mamo Kassa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A cross sectional study was conducted on 2231 small ruminants in four districts of the Afar Pastoral Region of Ethiopia to investigate the epidemiology of tuberculosis in goats and sheep using comparative intradermal tuberculin skin test, postmortem examination, mycobacteriological culture and molecular typing methods. The overall animal prevalence of TB in small ruminants was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2%–0.7%) at ≥4 mm and 3.8% (95% CI: 3%–4.7%) at cutoff ≥2 mm. The herd prevalence was 20% (95% CI: 12–28%) and 47% (95% CI: 37–56%) at ≥4 mm and ≥2 mm cut-off points, respectively. The overall animal prevalence of Mycobacterium avium complex infection was 2.8% (95% CI: 2.1–3.5%) and 6.8% (95% CI: 5.8–7.9%) at ≥4 mm and ≥2 mm cut-off points, respectively. Mycobacteriological culture and molecular characterization of isolates from tissue lesions of tuberculin reactor goats resulted in isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (SIT149) and non-tuberculosis mycobacteria as causative agents of tuberculosis and tuberculosis-like diseases in goats, respectively. The isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in goat suggests a potential transmission of the causative agent from human and warrants further investigation in the role of small ruminants in epidemiology of human tuberculosis in the region.