Ramos, B., Pereira, A.C, Reis, A.C. & Cunha, M.V. (2020) Estimates of the global and continental burden of animal tuberculosis in key livestock species worldwide: a meta-analysis study.One Health, 10, 100169. DOI:10.1016/j.onehlt.2020.100169 (IF2020 3,800; Q1 Public, Environmental and Occupacional Health)
Zoonotic animal tuberculosis (TB) is a One Health paradigm infectious disease, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria, that affects different host species with varying levels of management. In most developed countries, official surveillance and control strategies support the longitudinal reporting of herd and/or animal prevalence. However, for under resourced countries without surveillance plans, this information may be obtained from cross-sectional studies only. The objective of this meta-analysis was to perform a worldwide estimate of the overall prevalence of animal TB in different livestock species whose importance in production systems varies according to the region of the world. The ISI's Web of Science and Google Scholar were searched combining keywords and related database-specific subject terms to identify relevant cohort or cross-sectional work published in this topic. A total of 443 articles were retrieved, screened, and a final set of 182 references included. Potential sources of variation were investigated using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. Prevalence estimates in five mammalian host groups were stratified according to host species, host characteristics, anatomical localization of lesions, sample size, geographical location, and diagnostic tests. The multivariable meta-regression analysis accounted for a range between 0% (farmed wild boar) and 68.71% (camelids) of the overall observed heterogeneity, indicating that the pondered predictors partially explain the observed variability. Differences in the overall prevalence of TB across hosts were small, with most groups showing values around 10%, except farmed wild boar (41%). The sample size emerged as an important moderator, with small size studies leading to the overestimation of prevalence. TB prevalence rates were very heterogeneous across continents and depended on the host, with lower values (below 10%) in Africa and Asia, while North America (33.6%, cattle), Europe (51%, goats), and South America (85.7%, pigs) exhibited higher rates, possibly related to greater densities of specific host groups managed on more intensive production systems. Stratification by diagnostic tests evidenced heterogeneous prevalence rates depending on the host group, possibly reflecting differences in test performance across different hosts. Results from this study highlight different TB burden scenarios, pinpointing host groups and diagnostics that should be prioritized in surveillance systems in different regions, thus providing policy-relevant information to catalyse TB control in settings with lower installed capacity and better resource allocation at the human-animal-environment interface.