Pathology of bovine tuberculosis

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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic granulomatous caseous-necrotising inflammatory process that mainly affects the lungs and their draining lymph nodes (Ln.). The pathological changes associated with bTB infection reflect the interplay between the host defence mechanisms and the mycobacterial virulence factors and the balance between the immunologic protective responses and the damaging inflammatory processes. Inhalation is the most common infection route and causes lesions of the nasopharynx and lower respiratory tract, including its associated lymph nodes. The initial infection (primary complex) may be followed by chronic (post-primary) tuberculosis or may be generalised. Goat tuberculosis often produces liquefactive necrosis and caverns, similarly to human TB. The assessment of the severity of TB lesions is crucial for vaccine trials. Semi-quantitative gross lesion scoring systems have been developed for cattle, but imaging technology has allowed the development of more standardised, objective, and quantitative methods, such as multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), which provides quantitative measures of lesion volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S20-S29
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue numberS
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Bovine tuberculosis pathology


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