Holes and Patches: an Account of Tuberculosis Caused by Mycobacterium bovis in Uganda

Adrian Muwonge, Luke Nyakarahuka, Willy Ssengooba, J Oloya, Francisco Olea-Popelka, C Kankya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Uganda, known as “the pearl of Africa,” is richly endowed by nature, but it comes at a cost. The fertile and attractive landscapes, abundant water, and optimal temperature not only sustain the Ugandan crop and livestock industries but also ensure a constant abundance of pathogens and parasites affecting humans and animals. These features cause a constant shift of environmental frontiers compounded by the explosive population growth experienced in the country and an increasingly porous human–animal interface. These shifts occur at such a tremendous pace that the holes created at this interface are becoming harder to patch. Pathogens like Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (BTB), exploit these constant changes and cross species barriers to establish new wildlife and domestic species disease reservoirs. Because of these events, M. bovis has now become a multi-host, endemic pathogen, and as zoonotic TB it became a serious public health threat in Uganda. The sustainable growth of an agriculture-based country like Uganda is dependent on the health of its people, crops, and animals, and it is imperative to deal with diseases that threaten this growth. It is critical to be able to diagnose and control TB caused by M. bovis in livestock, wildlife species, and humans and to understand the relevant risks and strategies required to control and eventually eradicate the infection. This chapter addresses these various issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTuberculosis in animals
Subtitle of host publicationan African perspective
EditorsA. Dibaba, N. Kriek, C. Thoen
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-18690-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-18688-3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2019


  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Cattle movement networks
  • Livestock husbandry
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Non-tuberculous mycobacteria
  • Uganda
  • Zoonotic tuberculosis


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