Cat-To-Human Transmission of Tuberculosis (TB)

As many people will have heard in the news today, there have been 2 confirmed cases of cat-to-human transmission of Mycobacterium Bovis (M.Bovis) – the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis (TB) in cattle and other species. There are a number of important factors to bear in mind about these reports and hopefully these will allay fears,

  1. There have been no further cases of TB in cats reported in Berkshire or Hampshire since March 2013, which is almost a year ago.
  2. Public Health England has assessed the risk of transmission of M.Bovis from cats to humans as being very low.
  3. Public Health England (PHE) has issued the following statement “It’s important to remember that this was a very unusual cluster of TB in domestic cats. M.Bovis is still uncommon in cats- it mainly affects livestock animals. These are the first documented cases of cat-to-human transmission and so although PHE has assessed the risk of people catching this infection from infected cats as being very low, we are recommending that households and close contacts of cats with confirmed M.Bovis infection should be assessed and receive public health advice.”

In other words it is only those people who are in close contact with a cat that has been diagnosed as having Feline TB by their veterinary surgeon who need to take any further action, such as arranging for TB screening. Please remember that there have been no new confirmed cases for a year in this area and that TB in cats is very rare.

For further advice please visit the Defra Feline TB Page

Please contact us at the surgery if you believe you cat is showing any of the clinical signs associated with feline TB.


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