Reis, A.C., Ramos, B., Pereira, A.C. & Cunha, M.V. (2021) Global trends of epidemiological research in livestock tuberculosis for the last four decades.Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 68(2), 333-346. DOI:10.1111/tbed.13763 (IF2020 5,005; Q1 Infectious Diseases)
Animal tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) bacteria remains as one of the most significant infectious diseases of livestock, despite decades of eradication programmes and research efforts, in an era where the livestock sector is among the most important and rapidly expanding commercial agricultural segments worldwide. This work provides a global overview of the spatial and temporal trends of reported scientific knowledge of TB in livestock, aiming to gain insights into research subtopics within the animal TB epidemiology domain and to highlight territorial inequalities regarding data reporting and research outputs over the years. To deliver such information, peer‐reviewed reports of TB studies in livestock were retrieved from the Web of Science and Google Scholar, systematized and dissected. The validated data set contained 443 occurrence observations, covering the 1981–2020 period (39 years). We highlight a clear move towards transdisciplinary areas and the One Health approach, with a global temporal increase in publications combining livestock with wildlife and/or human components, which reflect the importance of non‐prototypical hosts as key to understanding animal TB. It becomes evident that cattle is the main host across works from all continents; however, many regions remain poorly surveyed. TB research in livestock in low‐/middle‐income countries is markedly growing, reflecting changes in animal husbandry, but also mirroring the globalization era, with a marked increase in international collaboration and capacitation programmes for scientific and technological development. This review gives an overview of the most prolific continents, countries and research fields in animal TB epidemiology, clearly outlining knowledge gaps and key priority topics. The estimated growth trend of livestock production until 2050, particularly in Asia and Africa, in response to human population growth and animal–protein demand, will require further investment in early surveillance and adaptive research to accommodate the higher diversity of livestock species and MTC members and raising the possibility to fine‐tune funding schemes.