Bovine tuberculosis is a bacterial disease of cattle that can infect humans other domestic animals and some wildlife. It has been found in whitetail deer in Northeast Michigan. The bacteria Mycobacterium bovis causes the disease. This bacterium is closely related to the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis associated with human tuberculosis. Bovine tuberculosis has not been found in Indiana livestock since 1983.
There are three ways humans can get bovine tuberculosis:
Animals that aren't healthy or have lesions suggestive of tuberculosis in the lungs, body organs, bones, or on the interior surface of the rib cage should not be consumed for food. Because tuberculosis lesions may not always be visible, all venison should be thoroughly cooked until there is no pink areas remaining and all juices run clear. Venison should not be smoked, made into jerky, or sausage that will not be thoroughly cooked. Fully cooking venison will kill any tuberculosis bacteria present as well as any other disease causing bacteria.
After field dressing or handling any carcass or other raw meat, hands should be washed with soap and water. Hand washing removes both the blood and disease causing bacteria including tuberculosis. This practice should always be followed, even if the animal appears healthy.
The symptoms generally relate to the transmission method and are similar to the tuberculosis of people. The symptoms related to TB include:
A TB skin test can identify if you have been infected.
With prescription drugs used to treat tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.