BCG vaccination against tuberculosis in European badgers (Meles meles): A review

Philip A. Robinson*, Leigh A.L. Corner, Emily A. Courcier, Jim McNair, Marc Artois, Fraser D. Menzies, Darrell A. Abernethy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (SciVal)


Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant animal health problem in many parts of the world, and reservoirs of infection in wild animals complicate disease control efforts in farmed livestock, particularly cattle. Badgers (Meles meles) are a significant wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection for cattle in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Vaccination of badgers using an M. bovis strain bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine could potentially be an option in the national TB eradication strategy. Wildlife vaccination has been used successfully for other diseases in wildlife species, and may have a role to play in reducing M. bovis transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface. Research to date has provided evidence that BCG is protective in badgers, and a parenteral badger BCG vaccine has been licensed in the UK. Further research is required to develop effective strategies for vaccine deployment and to determine the effect of badger vaccination on cattle TB incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Early online date14 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacille Calmette-Guérin
  • Meles meles
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Wildlife vaccination


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