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Monitoring the Health Status and Herd-Level Risk Factors of Tuberculosis in Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Dairy Farms in Pakistan
Aziz ur Rehman1*, Syed Ehtisham-ul-Haque1, Muhammad Tariq Javed2, Muhammad Zishan Ahmad3, Ishtiaq Ahmed1, Muhammad Kamran Rafique1, Irfan Irshad4, Muhammad Riaz5, Tariq Hussain6, Arbab Sikandar6 and Ghulam Hussain Dilbar7

1Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Jhang, Pakistan; 2Department of Pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 3Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 4Institute of Continuing Education and Extension, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore54000, Punjab, Pakistan. 5Department of Allied Health Sciences, Sargodha Medical College, University of Sargodha, Pakistan; 5Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Jhang, Pakistan; 6Department of Theriogenology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
*Corresponding author:


Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis, a bacterium that infects a wide range of animal species, including humans. In this study, we determined the prevalence of tuberculosis in domesticated water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and assessed potential risk factors at four government dairy farms in Punjab, Pakistan. Tuberculin skin testing was performed on 627 water buffaloes. Risk factors such as age, body weight, milk yield, lactation status, the total number of animals, and the presence of small ruminants at the farms were recorded due to their potential association with tuberculosis transmission. The impact of M. bovis infection on complete blood cell counts (CBC) was also assessed. In total, 27 (4.3%) animals were positive for tuberculosis in the four dairy farms. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations were lower in infected animals compared to non-infected animals, whereas the number of platelets was higher in infected animals compared to non-infected animals. The results revealed that the increase in body weight, age of the animals, and water buffalo density on the farm can increase the disease occurrence.  Binary logistic regression analysis, including farm and other variables, revealed that the assessed herd-level risk factors of bovine tuberculosis transmission had a statistically non-significant association for monitoring water buffaloes. The current study had emphasized revealing different possible risk factors in native husbandry practices. The study suggests regular tuberculosis screening for proper control of M. bovis infection in water buffalo herds. This will ultimately help to further reduce the cases of zoonotic bovine tuberculosis.

To Cite This Article: Rehman AU, Haque SEU, Javed MT, Ahmad MZ, Ahmed I, Rafique MK, Riaz M, Hussain T, Sikandar A and Dilbar GH, 2021. Monitoring the health status and herd-level risk factors of tuberculosis in water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) dairy farms in Pakistan. Pak Vet J, 41(4): 552-556.


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)