The Roadmap for Zoonotic TB was launched on 12 October at the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico. Four partners in health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) joined forces to develop the roadmap and address the major health and economic impact of this disease.
New data released by WHO estimates that over 140,000 people fall ill and more than 12,000 people lose their lives each year to zoonotic TB – mostly in the African and the South-East Asian regions.
Bovine TB is most often communicated to humans through food consumption, usually non-heat-treated dairy products or raw or improperly cooked meat from diseased animals. Direct transmission from infected animals or animal products to people can also occur. However zoonotic TB is largely hidden. The advanced laboratory tools that are required to diagnose zoonotic TB are frequently unavailable. The disease is resistant to pyrazinamide - one of the standard first-line medications used to treat TB. Patients are therefore often misdiagnosed and may receive ineffective treatment.
The roadmap, available at http://www.who.int/entity/tb/publications/2017/zoonotic_TB/en/index.html, articulates ten priority actions that human and animal health actors should take, and defines milestones for the short- and medium-term. Further details are available at http://www.who.int/tb/features_archive/zoonotic_TB_roadmap/en/.