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Preliminary Investigation of Bovine Tuberculosis in Suspected Beef from a Metropolitan Abattoir in Ghana with Ziehl-Neelsen Microscopy

Author(s): N.A.K. Adu-Bobi | E.E. Mak-Mensah | D.G. Achel | O.K. Gyamfi | K.D. Bedzra

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1028-8880

Volume: 12;
Issue: 17;
Start page: 1222;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Ziehl-Neelsen microscopy | bovine tuberculosis | Mycobacterium bovis | acid-fast bacilli

Bovine tuberculosis is an important zoonotic disease transmissible through aerosols inhalation and the ingestion of contaminated milk and meat from cattle. Abattoirs in Ghana mainly depend on post-mortem examinations as means of diagnosing the presence of mycobacterium in meat (beef). A Ziehl-Neelsen microscopy was used to investigate the presence of Mycobacterium bovis as Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFBs) in beef samples from the Kumasi Metropolitan abattoir; thereby vetting post-mortem examinations at the abattoir. Lesioned lung tissues and calcified or puss-filled thoracic lymph nodes were collected at post-mortem as directed by an expert veterinarian. A total of 159 samples from 130 cattle (bulls and cows) were used in this study from April to July 2006. Ninety-five (i.e., 73.1%) of the 130 cattle sampled were positive for AFBs, whilst the remaining thirty-five (26.9%) were negative. Out of the total 159 individual samples specimen collected, 114 (71.7%) were found with AFBs. A total of 64 lung tissues and 95 lymph nodes were collected, respectively. Interestingly, 70.3% of the lung tissues were AFB-positive with 69 (72.6%) out of the 95 lymph nodes, also being positive. The ZN microscopy was effective in detecting the presence of mycobacteria, as 73.1% of the suspected samples were AFB-positive. It presupposes that, abattoir post-mortem examinations were also efficient however; the lapses of non-detection of asymptomatic carcasses could also pose a serious health risk to consumers. Also, lack of a functional on-site laboratory and a practical monitoring system was found to be unfavourable to the maintenance of meat quality. Detailed laboratory examinations (such as culture, PCR and other biochemical tests) to augment ZN microscopy is recommended for thorough detection of bovine tuberculosis.
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