Exploring the use of molecular epidemiology to track bovine tuberculosis in Nigeria: An overview from 2002 to 2004

S. I.B. Cadmus*, S. V. Gordon, R. G. Hewinson, N. H. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Nigeria. While human to human transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is clearly of major importance in driving the tuberculosis epidemic in Nigeria, the impact of Mycobacterium bovis transmission from infected cattle is largely unknown. Molecular epidemiology of M. bovis in Nigeria will increase our understanding of this endemic disease and provide tools to assess cattle-to-human transmission.Between 2002 and 2004, molecular techniques including spoligotyping, variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) typing and deletion typing were used to track and analyze a sample of strains of the M. tuberculosis complex circulating in the cattle population in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria. In all, 180 isolates were typed with a view to elucidating epidemiological information on circulating strains, occurrence of transborder transmission and molecular diversity of the M. bovis strains.Results obtained showed that 99% (178/180) of the isolates were M. bovis, while the remaining were M. tuberculosis and M. africanum. In all, strains of M. bovis had 34 different spoligotypes: strains with spoligotype pattern SB0944 (as designated by www.mbovis.org) were the most common (46% of strains). This molecular type is also common in countries neighbouring Nigeria. Strains with this spoligotype pattern could be further divided into 40 different VNTR types.This analysis shows the value of simple molecular epidemiological techniques applied to strains of M. bovis and suggests that further epidemiological studies will shed more light on the transmission dynamics of bovine tuberculosis locally and across neighbouring African countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Early online date24 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2011


  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Molecular tools
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
  • Nigeria


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