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Tuberculosis patients at the human-animal interface: Potential zooanthroponotic and zoonotic transmission

Moyo, Maureen, Lebina, Limakatso, Milovanovic, Minja, MacPherson, Peter ORCID:, Michel, Anita and Martinson, Neil (2021) 'Tuberculosis patients at the human-animal interface: Potential zooanthroponotic and zoonotic transmission'. One Health, Vol 13, p. 100319.

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Human-to-animal transmission of M. tuberculosis (Mtb) is reported in South Africa but there is a paucity of epidemiological data. The aim of this One Health manuscript is to describe zooanthroponotic exposure of domestic animals to TB patients, virtually all of whom had laboratory confirmed pulmonary Mtb disease.

This cross-sectional study was nested within two TB contact tracing studies and collected data from 2017 to 2019. TB index patients and their households in three provinces of South Africa were recruited. A questionnaire was administered to households, assessing type and number of animals owned, degree of exposure of animals to humans, and veterinary consultations. For this analysis, we compared descriptive variables by animal-keeping status (animal-keeping vs non-animal keeping households), calculated the chi square and respective p-values.

We visited 1766 households with at least one confirmed case of TB, 33% (587/1766) had livestock or companion animals. Of non-animal-owning households, 2% (27/1161) cared for other community members' livestock. Few (16%, 92/587) households kept animals in their dwelling overnight, while 45% (266/587) kept animals outside the home, but within 10 m of where people slept and ate. Most (81%, 478/587) of people in animal-owning households were willing for their animal/s to have a TB skin test, but <1% (5/587) of animals had been skin-tested; 4% (24/587) of animal-owning households had a veterinary consultation in the past six months, and 5% (31/587) reported one of their animals dying from natural causes in the prior six months.

Our survey suggests that a high proportion of patients with TB live in settings facilitating close contact with domestic animal species with known susceptibility to Mtb. There is a substantial exposure of household animals to patients with TB and therefore risk of both transmission to, and spillback from animals to humans.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > WC 20 Research (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 950 Zoonoses (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 15:31
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2021 15:31


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