Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics



Date of this Version



Published in Michigan Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Project: 2005 Activities Report and Conference Proceedings.


On June 7 and 8, 2005, the State of Michigan and U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted the ninth annual bovine Tuberculosis (TB) meeting of scientists, with the intent to share research information and provide updates on policies, regulations and activities regarding bovine TB.

This document is a thank you to stakeholders and serves as an annual report offering insight into the finer points of this multi-agency project. The year 2005 has been one of milestones. The Upper Peninsula received TB-Free Status; only one TB positive farm was found during routine surveillance testing; and the disease prevalence rate in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 452’s free-ranging white-tailed deer population remained at 1.7 percent.

As the disease eradication effort moves forward we must also emphasize health precautions. For the second time, a person has contracted this particular Michigan strain of bovine TB. In this case it was transmitted from a deer infected with TB to a hunter through a skin wound, while the hunter field dressed the deer. As always noted, but necessary to reinforce – personal protection methods to prevent both hunters and livestock producers from infection must be used. Bovine TB is an insidious bacterium and requires antibiotic treatment for nine to 12 months. Pasteurization is necessary to kill it; therefore raw milk from an area where bovine TB is endemic should never be consumed.

The project partners, through testing surveillance, have identified the pockets of bovine TB positive cattle and deer and feel confident that we know where 98 percent, or the highest incidence of the disease, occurs. We expect to take additional steps to move forward in our effort to eradicate bovine TB from Michigan. These steps may include the use of a rapid blood test for free-ranging deer and a change in attitudes toward the test and removal strategy for cattle.