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Description and Distribution

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Bovine TB primarily affects cattle, however, other animals may become infected.

Tuberculosis in humans and other mammals is usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. While M. tuberculosis is the single greatest cause of infectious disease in humans worldwide, M. bovis affects the largest number of animals throughout the world. M. bovis causes a disease which can be transmitted between wildlife populations and animals raised as a food source (farm animals). In humans, tuberculosis occurs most often in the lungs. Disease due to M. bovis (also known as bovine tuberculosis) in animals may occur in the lungs but may also occur in the intestines and other parts of the body.