BCG vaccination for bovine tuberculosis; conclusions from the Jerusalem One Health workshop.
The global burden of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remains poorly characterized, with spill-over impacts on multiple species. The "One Health" concept is especially relevant given the bidirectional risk of cattle infecting humans with Mycobacterium bovis and humans infecting cattle with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. "Test and cull" is the traditional bTB control method, but the strategy may not be economically feasible or culturally acceptable where cattle are highly prized or their killing is a religious taboo; it is also less effective when there are wildlife reservoirs of infection. Vaccination with M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) provides protection against bTB, but its use in animals has been limited. The Jerusalem One Health workshop considered key bTB knowledge gaps and innovative solutions. Knowledge gaps identified included (a) the poorly quantified prevalence of M. bovis infection and disease in cattle, domestic camelids and human populations in developing countries, (b) the absence of alternatives to a "test and cull" strategy in settings where the killing of infected animals is culturally or economically unacceptable, or where affected species are protected and (c) an understanding of the induction of mucosal immunity against bTB. We summarize discussions on the use of BCG vaccination in domestic animals and wildlife and list potential projects to address the knowledge gaps identified.