Isolation and molecular characterisation of Mycobacterium bovis from raw milk in Tunisia
Background: Consumption of raw milk and unpasteurized dairy products is common in Tunisia where bovine tuberculosis remains enzootic. We herein investigated the frequency of M. bovis isolation from raw milk. Methods: Three hundred and six milk samples collected from 102 infected cows in different Tunisian regions were analysed. M. bovis isolates were further characterized by spoligotyping and variable number tandem repeat typing. Results: A total of five (4.9 %) M. bovis strains exhibiting three different genotypes were isolated. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that consumers of raw milk or derivatives in Tunisia are at high risk of zoonotic infection with M. bovis.
Keywords: Mycobacterium bovis; Tuberculosis; Raw milk, Zoonosis