World Tuberculosis Day: Tackling TB infection in humans via cattle | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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World Tuberculosis Day: Tackling TB infection in humans via cattle

Experts at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute are set to monitor the prevalence of tuberculosis infection in bovines as part of a government project which envisages eradicating the disease from the country.

lucknow Updated: Mar 24, 2018 14:26 IST
Chandan Kumar
An estimated 15 % of domestic cattle are infected with TB which can transferred to humans.
An estimated 15 % of domestic cattle are infected with TB which can transferred to humans.(HT)

Bareilly: Experts at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute here are set to monitor the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) infection in bovines as part of a government project which envisages eradicating the disease from the country.

Statistics
  • Number of human deaths due to TB in India in 2017: 41,5,000
  • Estimated budget to tackle TB in India: Rs 3412.5 crore (Rs 2524.88 crore by state+ Rs 887 crore by international funding)
  • Infection rate in domestic cattle : Around 15%
  • Economic impact of TB infection in cattle: Rs 5440 Cr

“Tuberculosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning, its bacteria infect both animals and humans. In India, where people live in close association with cattle, this creates a precarious situation for humans,” said BR Singh, bacteriologist and senior scientist at IVRI.

According to recent research, around 9% of all TB infections are transferred from animals to humans. The percentage is higher in TB cases related to children.

The project will be conducted by a consortium of major universities and research institutes in India, United States and UK. The department of biotechnology which comes under the ministry of science and technology will fund the project along with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Tuberculosis in cattle was never given consideration in projects aimed at eradicating TB in humans. This has changed with this project. Our institute will collaborate with the experts in providing required data,” informed RK Singh, director IVRI.

Experts believe that the prevalence of TB infection in cattle is as high as 15% in buffalo and cow.

“The economic cost because of TB infection in cattle in Indian is estimated around Rs 5440 crore,” said Vivek Kapur, scientist at Penn State University, USA who compiled the programme report for the project. Kapur said, “Our first priority will be to set up a national surveillance programme for TB infection in cattle. The data from the project will be used to chalk out a plan to tackle it.”