BCG vaccination reduces bovine tuberculosis transmission, improving prospects for elimination

Abebe Fromsa, Katriina Willgert, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Getnet Mekonnen, Wegene Bedada, Balako Gumi, Matios Lakew, Biniam Tadesse, Berecha Bayissa, Asegedech Sirak, Musse Girma Abdela, Solomon Gebre, Tesfaye Chibssa, Maroudam Veerasami, H. Martin Vordermeier, Douwe Bakker, Stefan Berg, Gobena Ameni, Nick Juleff, Mart C.M. de JongJames Wood, Andrew Conlan, Vivek Kapur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a routinely used vaccine for protecting children against Mycobacterium tuberculosis that comprises attenuated Mycobacterium bovis. BCG can also be used to protect livestock against M. bovis; however, its effectiveness has not been quantified for this use. We performed a natural transmission experiment to directly estimate the rate of transmission to and from vaccinated and unvaccinated calves over a 1-year exposure period. The results show a higher indirect efficacy of BCG to reduce transmission from vaccinated animals that subsequently become infected [74%; 95% credible interval (CrI): 46 to 98%] compared with direct protection against infection (58%; 95% CrI: 34 to 73%) and an estimated total efficacy of 89% (95% CrI: 74 to 96%). A mechanistic transmission model of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) spread within the Ethiopian dairy sector was developed and showed how the prospects for elimination may be enabled by routine BCG vaccination of cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1441
Number of pages9
Issue number6690
StatePublished - Mar 29 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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