Camelid TB Support & Research Group

For help and support call                 

Help and Support for those affected by Bovine TB in Alpacas & Llamas

Email: Support@alpacatb.org

 07949 511316

If you wish to be alerted by email when news and updates go on our website email dianne@alpacatb.org and say ‘PLEASE UPDATE ME’ in your email.

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28/08/2013 Defra Publication of 2nd Quarter bTB figures

The table for the 2nd quarter of 2013 has been published by Defra. It shows that there are 6 confirmed camelid herd bTB breakdowns for the first six months of this year. There are five alpaca herds and one with both alpacas and llamas affected. You can see the table here or view  it on the Defra website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/other-tb-statistics.


We are aware of three other affected herds that do not as yet appear on the Defra table.

13/11/2013 ‘Priming’ of blood tests for increased sensitivity

Defra have provided us with a document explaining the reasons for using the skin test 10 - 30 days prior to using a serological (antibody) blood test. You can read the document here or on our bTB tests page. In a breakdown it is imperative to use all means to increase the sensitivity (likelihood of finding the disease) of the testing system to halt the progress of bTB through a herd.

29/11/2013 Defra announce new measures for bTB control in camelids

Defra have announced new measures to help to try to halt the spread of bTB in camelids. We welcome progress on the control of bTB in our species and the acceptance that Government and camelid owners need to take the issue seriously, but we are disappointed that the measures will remain voluntary. The move follows recommendations from the Animal health and Welfare Board.


The recommendations cover recording of camelid movements and pre and post movement testing. We await full details of the tests that will be made available (As at 29/11/13 the only test available to herds not under restrictions is the comparative skin test.) We also await full details how the new measures will be implemented and monitored.


You can read the Farmers Guardian article on the announcement here.




Newly appointed Under Secretary of State for Farming, George Eustice MP, visited Dianne Summers, head of the Support Group, at her farm in Cornwall on Friday 6th December. The meeting was to discuss bTB as it affects alpacas, llamas (as well as their keepers and handlers) and to bring Mr Eustice up to date with the current situation. Mr Eustice was interested to find out about the Support Group’s work over the past five years and about the detailed factual data that Dianne has gathered from 41 members of the Support Group.


Dianne was able to outline her concerns regarding the disease and testing as well as explaining how some in the camelid community have spread false information about levels of false positives from the Stat-Pak test that has caused some owners with herds under restrictions to refuse to use it to beat the disease in their herds.


The PCR project was discussed and Mr Eustice was briefed about the results obtained and the possible applications of PCR.  


Mr Eustice said he was grateful for her input and level of knowledge and explained that he well understood the devastation that the disease causes. He asked about Dianne’s own herd breakdown and about her personal battle with the disease having been diagnosed with the same spoligotype as her herd in 2012.


Dianne expressed her gratitude to Mr Eustice for his visit and found the discussion encouraging. She looks forward to meeting him again.    


Despite the seriousness of the subject, the meeting ended with the Little Hamlet alpacas captivating Mr Eustice as can be seen below.

 


09 /12/2013  Defra Farming Minister visits Camelid TB Support and Research Group HQ.

Bovine TB is a zoonotic disease transmissible to humans. See here

Hover mouse over picture for larger image

18/12/2013  New AHVLA Camelid bTB data released. BAS data for causes of death in alpacas.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency has published new data relating to non bovines including camelids. It includes the numbers of herds put under restrictions, numbers tested and culled during 2011 and 2012 in England, Wales and Scotland and also collated for Britain as a whole. The 2012 non bovine combined England, Wales and Scotland report can be found here:

  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/267084/bovinetb-otherspecies-GB2012-18dec13.pdf


And tables by country for 2011 and 2012 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/other-tb-statistics


The report shows that in 2012 there were 71 camelid premises placed under movement restrictions, with 45 remaining under restrictions at the end of the year.

The report shows 577 camelids were culled due to bTB or bTB control measures during 2012.

The numbers demonstrate the impact of the disease and gives the lie to those who say it is not a serious threat to British alpacas and llamas.

In November this year The BAS (British Alpaca Society) released to the BAS National Welfare committee the numbers and causes of death in alpacas reported to the society. The tables included everything reported from old age, parasites (barbers pole etc) and of course bTB. In 2012, 624 deaths were reported to the BAS for alpacas owned by its members. Of that total 533 were reported with cause of death due to bTB. This is a staggering percentage of the national herd, especially considering that the vast majority of those bTB deaths were condensed into hotspot regions.  Not all alpaca owners are members of the BAS and this number is unlikely to include all alpacas lost to bTB.  Obviously the BAS total does not include the number of llamas lost to bTB.  The BAS cumulative table from 2009 - 2012 can be seen here. The 2013 table (to October only) here.

 

 




21/1/2014  New defra table

Figures released to the end of August 2013 show that there were ten NEW confirmed btb breakdowns (9 alpaca, 1 mixed alpacas and llamas) in the first eight months of 2013. See here for table.

Defra have provided us with the following information regarding the roll out of private blood tests for use in camelids including those showing clinical signs.   


Once private testing OUTSIDE of a TB breakdown becomes available in England (possibly from July 2014), camelid owners will be able to arrange and pay for  blood tests on their animals - most importantly for those who are worried that they might have a suspect TB case in their herd as well as for pre-movement, exports etc.


The following information is regarding camelids showing clinical signs of possible TB.

 

Where a camelid presents with symptoms where TB is one of many possible diagnostics, and AHVLA or your private vet want to try to rule TB out, camelid owners will be able to submit blood samples privately to AHVLA Starcross for testing at their own expense. AHVLA will apply a high specificity rule with two tests in serial interpretation - i.e. an animal must fail both tests to be considered infected and reported to AHVLA.

  

However if TB CANNOT be ruled out in the animal(s) in question and an AHVLA Veterinary Officer also suspects TB, the herd will be placed under precautionary movement restrictions and the animal skin and blood tested at the government expense under a formal notice of testing. AHVLA will use StatPak and IDEXX using parallel interpretation (i.e. animal to be removed if positive to either antibody test) of the two combined antibody tests.


PLEASE NOTE that the tests will not be available for private use outside of a breakdown before July 2014.

05/02/2014  Defra Information on blood test roll-out for camelids

07/02/2014  PCR project published

The Camelid TB Support Group PCR project paper has been published.

It is available as a free access document here: http://www.irishvetjournal.org/content/67/1/5

Or as a PDF here. PCR Paper

Or on our PCR Page here.

Thank you to those who supported this important work.

We are now awaiting details and costs for the validation stage which will require funding as well as samples from camelids across the country.   



Defra are proposing changes to the current arrangements for dealing with bTB in camelids in England. (Wales already has its own policy in place and Scotland are considering their options). Proposals include introducing blood tests that can be used outside of a breakdown situation, for example as pre-movement or pre-purchase and in cases where an animal may be showing symptoms which require TB to be ruled out.

The “Consultation on Tuberculosis (TB) animal disease controls for deer and camelids.” Can be found at the link below:

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb/consultation-on-tb-controls-for-deer-and-camelids

Further documentation and information can be found by following the above link, together with an online survey (and printable version) for your response.




09/04/2014  Defra consultation on TB controls in Camelids

06/05/2014  Misleading Information on testing.  

Misleading information has been circulated by those who should know better and who in our opinion should take a more responsible approach, and show more support and sympathy toward those who are currently facing, or have faced bTB in their herds. For this reason we present the factual data below so that you can make your own minds up rather than be steered by anyone else.

The impression has been given that it is bTB tests that put your alpacas at risk, when the emphasis should be put on the risks posed by the disease itself. Tests shortly to become available should be seen as a positive step that will benefit the alpaca industry and the fight against TB.

As has been demonstrated time and again, infected alpacas often show no symptoms over a long period, and once symptoms appear (often a death in the herd) the disease can be well established within the herd. In such a case there is no other responsible choice other than the use of blood tests to try to halt the disease and save the remainder of the herd. In the face of possible exposure to the disease through contiguous contact or tracings from a breakdown herd, the responsible thing to do is to try to protect your herd by testing. In such cases it is important that you are fully informed and understand the tests that you will be offered. No test is perfect, and it is important that you have the facts presented to you rather than be influenced by myth and misinformation. While there is much concern about false positives, it has to be borne in mind that false negatives that leave diseased animals in your herd are likely to kill more animals in the long term, as the source of disease remains to infect others.  Do not forget the risk to the handlers of the animals - this is a zoonotic disease and has passed to humans from alpacas.

The data on the tests available was gathered by the blood test Evaluation report which was funded by the camelid industry. The data showing how the tests compare is shown below. As you can see, the data shows that the Stat-Pak, Idexx and Enferplex tests all have very similar sensitivity and specificity figures when used as single tests.

The tests can also be used in combinations and read using serial or parallel interpretations (see tables below for explanation) to increase sensitivity (eg. to remove diseased animals in confirmed breakdowns) or to increase specificity (eg. In non breakdown situations such as pre-movement or pre-purchase). The Enferplex test can be interpreted using 2 or 4 antigens, to give a more or less severe interpretation.

You can see the comparison between the single tests in the upper table. Stat-Pak, Idexx and Enferplex are all very similar.

You can see the comparison between Parallel tests and Enferplex 2 antigen in the middle table. Again, very similar.

You can see the comparison between Stat-Pak/Idexx and Enferplex 4 antigen in the bottom table. Again, very similar. Please be aware that in these cases, while highly specific(false positives very unlikely) the sensitivity falls to only around 55%, so cannot be seen as a guarantee of freedom from disease.  

Sensitivity The sensitivity of a test is the proportion of truly infected animals that are detected with a test.

Specificity The specificity of a test is the proportion of truly uninfected animals that are correctly classified as test-negative.


















Please Note!

According to 3 scientific research papers for camelids the sensitivity of all the above tests is dependant on a prior skin test which boosts antibody response. Without such a prior skin test the sensitivity of all the tests could drop by around 20 to 30%, which in the case of the high specificity options could reduce sensitivity to a level where the test is more likely to miss an infected animal than identify it.


01/10/2014  Introduction of new blood tests. Defra - “If it moves, TEST IT”


From today, 1st October 2014 it will now be possible to have blood tests carried out by AHVLA outside of a bTB breakdown - for example if you have an animal that is showing clinical signs that make you suspect bTB and want to rule it out. Early action is vital to save your herd if you suspect bTB.


This is a positive step in the fight against  bTB in camelids.


The negative reaction of the BAS and some quarters of the industry to this change is short sighted and unhelpful. BTB is one of few diseases that has the ability to wipe out your entire herd. A huge difference between bTB and other disease and parasite threats has been the inability to effectively test for it - the availability of  effective testing is key to halting the spread of the disease before it reaches catastrophic levels. Alpacas can be severely diseased while showing no outward symptoms - once they start to die in numbers (as happens in an established breakdown) it is often too late to save the herd. The data in the preceding news item compares the sensitivity and specificity of the newly available tests and the BAS ‘preferred’ test - please read it and make your own mind up - the data is from the BAS blood test validation study. (See here)


Until recently, the only test available outside of a TB breakdown has been the comparative skin test. Positives found by the skin test can be relied upon, but the very high number of false negatives (where disease was in fact present) can - and has - led to prolonged breakdowns due to infectious diseased animals being left behind.


Do not forget also the PROVEN risk to human health from transmission of bTB from alpacas to people which is at the heart of the fight against bTB as well as the need to protect your herd..


Excerpt from proposed defra leaflet below:


“If it moves, test it:


Alpacas and llamas move to and from premises to attend:

· Shows;

· Markets;

· For trekking or breeding; or

· Following sales

These are perceived by livestock farmers to increase the risk of the spread of TB to their animals.

To protect your herd and reassure your neighbours and customers, you should consider TB testing your own animals before they move; and being sure that animals visiting your premises have already been tested (pre-movement testing).


You can also have any incoming animals privately tested after arrival onto your farm (post-movement testing).

Tuberculosis (TB) can be spread by the movement of apparently healthy but infected animals between herds. If you are thinking about buying alpacas or llamas

· Check on the TB history of the herd you are buying from.

· Think very carefully about biosecurity arrangements for your new animals, especially if you keep them in the bovine TB high risk ‘endemic’ area (e.g. the South West and the West Midlands).”


The wider text can be found here.


Note: The leaflet was sent to ourselves, BAS and BLS with permission to send it to the society members. It has not been circulated so far despite the opportunity to attach it to the batch email that was sent to the membership yesterday.


See news item below for more detail on testing.


11/10/2014  Defra explanation of changes to testing procedures


Defra have provided us with an explanation of how the  How the October 2014 Regulation and testing changes affect camelid owners which you can see here.

23/07/2014   Introduction of new blood tests


A major difference in the threat posed to camelids by bTB compared to other disease and parasite threats has been the lack of effective tests to detect the disease. Until very recently, the only test available outside of a TB breakdown has been the comparative skin test. Positives found by the skin test can be relied upon, but the very high number of false negatives (where disease was in fact present) can - and has - led to prolonged breakdowns due to infectious diseased animals being left behind. False negatives are dangerous as they leave infection in the herd, or allow it to be moved to a new herd. Whilst a false positive is distressing, it poses no threat to the remainder of your herd - a false negative on the other hand can lead to the deaths of many more animals or total herd loss. Remember - false negatives kill camelids too.


Whilst we welcome the advent of newly available surveillance and movements tests, it is important that for the very same reasons that anyone using the tests, or relying on them to indicate disease status of new stock, fully understand what the tests can and cannot achieve - it would be wrong to think of them, and equally wrong to market or promote them, as an absolute guarantee of freedom from disease.


The tables below show the sensitivity and specificity of the tests. The sensitivity of a test is the proportion of truly infected animals that are detected with a test - if a test has 55% sensitivity it is missing 45% of infected animals.


The specificity of a test is the proportion of truly uninfected animals that are correctly classified as test-negative. If a test has 99% specificity then 1% will be a false positive.


You can see that when used on their own the Stat-Pak, IDEXX and Enferplex (2 antigen) have similar sensitivity and could miss around one third of infected camelids. DPP and Enferplex 4 antigen could miss approaching half (45%) of infected animals.  This is not a criticism, but it must be borne in mind that these tests are useful tools, not a 100% guarantee of freedom from infection. It is important that you still educate yourself and apply sensible precautions in your herd management, movements, purchases etc. and carry out a risk assessment .

See also news item 06/05/2014

17/07/2014  PCR Project


The Support Group PCR Project has been presented at the recent TB conference in Cardiff. A poster prepared for the conference summarising the project can be seen here. You can also find out more by visiting the PCR page here.

11/05/2015 Blood testing

Blood tests for bTB in camelids that are not in a breakdown (confirmed infected herd) are available through your vet. These can be carried out either by the Government APHA laboratories and the Enferplex test is also offered by a private company.

It is important to note that these tests are not 100% guarantees of freedom of bTB - in both options (APHA and enfer high specificity private tests) the sensitivity is around only 55% - see tables below. Sensible precautions and risk assessment are still as important as ever even when combined with testing.

It has been widely discussed and accepted that the skin test should be carried out prior to the blood test to prime the test. This is important to achieve the sensitivity to the levels listed below.  

The APHA tests are offered as a package ref: PC0710. It costs £ 22.95 per test, or for 5 and above £19.85.

The type and combination of tests offered may be subject to change. Check which tests are being offered prior to their use.

Please Note!

According to 3 scientific research papers for camelids the sensitivity of all the above tests is dependant on a prior skin test which boosts antibody response. Without such a prior skin test the sensitivity of all the tests could drop by around 20 to 30%, which in the case of the high specificity options could reduce sensitivity to a level where the test is more likely to miss an infected animal than identify it.

It is important to note that these tests are not 100% guarantees of freedom of bTB - in both options (APHA and enfer high specificity private tests) the sensitivity is around only 55% - see tables below. Sensible precautions and risk assessment are still as important as ever even when combined with testing.

07/07/2015 Defra  Guidance ‘How to deal with non-bovine TB’

Defra guidance on TB in non-bovines can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-deal-with-non-bovine-tb-in-your-animals

The information covers camelids. It offers an overview and information on the following topics:

How to spot TB, How TB spreads, If you suspect TB, If TB is found,Compensation for slaughtered animals (England and Scotland), Day-to-day control.

There is a further link regarding TB in domestic pets which also refers to camelids as well as dogs, cats etc.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tuberculosis-tb-in-domestic-pets





08/08/2015 Defra  data updated

The figures for the first period of 2015 have been published. You can see the table here.




09/09/2015 Private sample submission form

The form for submitting blood samples for testing in herds not under restrictions can be found on the reducing the risk page




14/09/2015 Continuity of Blood test kit supplies at APHA

We have had this statement from the Head of laboratory services, APHA.


“APHA did experience an interruption in DPP VetTB kit supplies in August, due to supplier export (paperwork) problems. During this time however testing did continue, with just three submissions exceeding the test turn-around time.  Kit supplies have now been resumed, we are processing as normal and do not anticipate any further difficulties.”





05/10/2015 Defra data updated

The table showing the number of index herds affected by confirmed bTB has been updated. You can see the table here.




16/12/2015 APHA Tests Briefing Note - TB Blood testing kits - Options and Instructions

The APHA testing briefing note ‘TB Blood testing kits - Options and Instructions’ can be found here.

It explains the tests available in England, Scotland and Wales. The Enferplex test has been included as an additional statutory test for use in breakdown herds in England and Scotland. In Wales the combination of tests (DPPVetTB/IDEXX) remains the same.

For herds not in a breakdown, APHA offer the DPPVetTB/IDEXX test using the Serial Test Interpretation, which provides the same specificity and sensitivity as the 4-spot enferplex test. APHA are not able to offer the Enferplex test to non-breakdown herds.

It is important to note that the way the blood tests are usually interpreted outside of a breakdown (4 spot Enfer or DPPVetTB/IDEXX in serial interpretation) gives up sensitivity for specificity - that is the ability to find disease if present is reduced to lower the risk of a false positive. When used in this way the sensitivity is just over 55%, so while the tests are helpful, they are not a guarantee of freedom from disease when used on individual animals. You must therefore use the same risk assessment as always when buying new stock. Do not be afraid to ask about the TB history of any herd that you receive animals from. No responsible breeder will take offence.


16/12/2015 APHA Official Veternarian (OV) instructions

Link to APHA OV instructions:

 http://ahvla.defra.gov.uk/External_OV_Instructions/TB_Camelids_Instructions/Updates/index.htm

22/02/2016  Defra table updated.

The number of herd breakdowns for 2015 has been amended to 6 from 5. See here

04/07/2016  Link to Defra interactive TB breakdown map

Below is a link to the Defra interactive map showing the location of breakdowns. You can enter your postcode or holding number to zoom to y our area.  http://www.ibtb.co.uk/


30/10/2016 UK spoligotype identified in alpaca exported to Belgium

In response to a freedom of information act request, defra have confirmed that  “in August 2015 Belgian Government officials informed the UK Chief Veterinary Officer that they had confirmed TB in an alpaca sent from the UK to Belgium”.



01/10/2016  Non Bovine Consultation - ends November 8th 2016

The consultation document can be found by following the link below.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb/proposed-tb-controls-for-pigs-and-other-species/




30/10/2016  Number of herds under restriction.

The consultation documentation contains a table showing the number of camelid herds under restrictions at the end of 2015 as 52. This will include herds restricted both as confirmed breakdowns and those under investigation. It may also include contacts traced due to movements (purchases, matings, agistment etc.) and underlines how seriously bTB should be taken. Owners need to make an informed risk assessment before buying, mating or moving alpacas.  

The number shown in red on our home page refers to a different statistic, that is, the cumulative total of camelid herds where bTB has been confirmed. It is however hopelessly out of date as Defra have not updated the their table since February 2016, and complete information for 2015 was unlikely to have been available at that point. This is indicated by the data in the Defra spreadsheet ‘Bovine TB in non-bovine species - Combined 2015’. The total of herds under restrictions at the end of 2015 is currently showing as 55 - presumably this changes as new information is confirmed or corrected - the same report for 2015 showed 64 herds under restrictions at the end of 2015.




02/12/2016 UK spoligotype identified in alpaca exported to Belgium - further detail received.

Further to the item below, we have received clarification regarding the spoligotype and its home range.


 “The information held by Defra is that the TB isolate was spoligotype 11 and the county of origin was Devon.”



06/03/2017  Large bTB breakdown - Do you know where your alpacas came from?


The British Alpaca Society took the unusual step this week of highlighting a large bTB herd breakdown, emailing their membership to alert them of the need for “dangerous contacts” to be tested and for precautions to be taken. The content of the email is pasted below.


There are now very likely more unregistered than registered alpacas, and perhaps more alpaca owners who are not BAS members than there are members, and of course as there is no requirement for alpacas to be known to Defra/APHA, there is no way for such information  to be disseminated to those owners. The BAS also have no record of unregistered alpacas sold by members, and in turn those may be (and have been) sold on. Indeed, we have had contact from a herd this week who purchased stock from a herd who in turn had purchased from the original breakdown herd in question in 2016. Fortunately the intermediary herd had correctly contacted them as a tracing, having been traced themselves, but there are no official records or system in place to guarantee that this happens. There is also no way to get information about welfare and disease generally, and especially bTB to those ‘independent’ owners.


It is vital that you know where your alpacas have come from - including who bred or owned them previously and where they were kept. You should ask the disease history and treatments given, and ask the bTB history of the holdings involved. You should always ask for bTB testing, and be very wary if it is refused. Of course, testing is no absolute guarantee of freedom from disease, and can be more or less able to find bTB (the test’s sensitivity) depending how the test is interpreted. In some cases the test may only be around 55% sensitive, so all normal precautions and biosecurity should still apply.


Alpacas can show no symptoms of bTB for a long time, while infecting other herd members and putting handlers at risk. It does not generally kill them quickly as has been suggested to an owner who contacted us this week, but can take years with no apparent symptoms. Very often the first symptom noticed is when the alpaca is close to death or is found dead, often with huge levels of infectious disease as can be seen by the pictures on this site.


bTB is a zoonotic disease and can infect humans. It is not simple to treat in humans, nor is there a guarantee of a full cure. It has to be taken seriously.

  

BAS email from 4th March 2017 below:

 Advisory Notice to Members

 

As some of you may be aware, there has been a confirmed bTB breakdown at a large herd and is currently under investigation by APHA . We are unable to name the herd as we have not yet had their permission to do so.

Whilst there are breakdowns or suspected breakdowns in existence several times a year in the camelid community, this particular breakdown is significant due to the size of the herd. While the BAS has no more rights than individuals to access ‘personal’ information from government agencies due to data protection, we are active in assisting where we can and where the affected farm(s) permit. After another herd confirmed disease from alpacas purchased from what is now believed to be the ‘source’ holding, all farms that were known to have had contact were informed back in December 2016 and some have already been tested clear. Due to the time it takes for APHA to prove disease, there has been a delay in APHA tracing and contacting farms that have moved or purchased alpacas from the infected source holding. Earlier this week, the BAS were contacted by APHA to help with the tracings. The BAS were able to confirm the three farms that had purchased registered alpacas from this ‘source’ holding in the last year and those farms have all been contacted by BAS representatives and are being contacted by APHA now. 

 

We would urge our members to re acquaint themselves with our guidance regarding biosecurity and contact us if they have any concerns. Please note for the reasons already stated we are unable to give out details unless we have the express permission of the party/parties concerned.

 

Clearly the BAS only have records of animals which have been registered.

 

If you have purchased, moved or have bred with males from a holding where you think there may be cause for concern and have not yet been contacted by APHA, then we urge you to please contact the BAS or APHA and we can help guide you on the most appropriate course of action. It is imperative that any alpacas that have had dangerous contact with a herd that is known to have bTB, are thoroughly tested in accordance with the 2016 Camelid bTB Testing Scenario Document and Flow Chart which can be found on the BAS website.

 

With regard to shows, and in particular the upcoming National Show, our bio-security measures at shows have been approved by the BVCS and APHA and shown to be robust over many years; bio security is of paramount importance and the last thing any of us want is to knowingly allow alpacas to shows that have come from dangerous contacts. We have been closely monitoring the situation and will continue to do so.

 

If you have any questions at all please contact us either through welfare@bas-uk.com, secretary@bas-uk.com or libby@grassroots.co.uk

 

Thank you for your time and attention in this important matter.

 

BAS Board 






 



23/05/2017 UK     Priming prior to bloodtesting


You can find an updated document from Defra on the benefits of the tuberculin anamnestic boost to serology testing by clicking the title below:


The anamnestic boost effect of the skin test on antibody responsesto Mycobacterium bovis in camelids summary of evidence.


In voluntary testing outside of a breakdown, priming is recommended but optional. If you choose not to prime the reduced sensititivity of the tests must be considered. When used on a single animal the tests are far from a guarantee of freedom from disease, and all the usual risk assesments, bio-security and quarantine precautions are as important as ever.



27/11/2017 Update to APHA data


The report “Bovine TB in non-bovine species – up to Q2 2017“ has been updated and can be found on the link below:


https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/other-tb-statistics

 It shows that there were 76 camelid premises under restrictions at the end of 2nd quarter 2017

The report “Incidents of confirmed M. bovis infection in domestic and companion animals and wild deer in GB” remains hugely out of date but is worth looking at to see where incidents occur so that you can consider and manage your risk.

You can also visit http://www.ibtb.co.uk/ and enter a postcode (yours or other areas) to help you assess any level of risk.

21/03/2018 Update to APHA data


The report “Bovine TB in non-bovine species – up to Q3 2017“ has been updated and can be found on the link below:


https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/other-tb-statistics

 It shows that there were 66 camelid premises under restrictions at the end of 3rd quarter 2017 in Great Britain, made up of 59 in England, 6 in Wales, 1 in Scotland.

You can also visit http://www.ibtb.co.uk/ and enter a postcode (yours or other areas) to help you assess your level of risk.

11/04/2018  Defra have provided an updated explanation of boosting when blood testing .


The anamnestic boost effect of the skin test on antibody responses to Mycobacterium bovis in camelids – summary of the evidence.


You can read it  here


06/04/2018  APHA Camelid TB Serology Test: re-assessment – March 2018


APHA have published a re-assesment of the blood tests which you can read in full here


Report summary:


”Reassessment of the camelid TB serology tests using expanded cohorts of serum samples from VL and TB-free camelids have allowed for the identification of technical improvements within each test and the incorporation of adjustments going forward. The resulting updated test performance data in this document provide continued confidence of the usefulness of

all three tests and confirmed that there are no statistically significant differences in the diagnostic accuracies (sensitivity and specificity) of any of the three parallel testing combinations that are available to camelid owners. The same can be said of the sensitivity and specificity of the two serial testing options (i.e. Enferplex-4-spot test and the serial combined IDEXX/DPP VetTB test).”

11/07/2018 APHA analysis of camelid test-positives from 2017

 


Of a total of 34 SERIAL seropositives, there were no post mortem (PM) details for 6 camelids.


Of the remaining 28 seropositive camelids with PM details, 22 (78.6%) were VL (visible lesions) and 6 (21.4%) were NVL (no visible lesions).

 

Of a total of 90 PARALLEL seropositives, there were 60 with no PM details (57 belonging to one very large confirmed breakdown in which many VL animals had already been identified).


Of the remaining 29 seropositive camelids with PM details, 14 (48.2%) were VL, 8 (27.6%) were AL (atypical lesions) and 7 (24.2%) were NVL.


As we would expect therefore, the highest specificity/serial test identifies a higher number of VL camelids (78.6%) compared to the lower specificity/ higher sensitivity parallel test (48.2%). However the higher sensitivity parallel test did identify as AL (which can be a difficult call in camelids of an M. bovis-confirmed herd) a further 27.6% of infected individuals.


 



22/08/2018  Defra non bovine statistics update


https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/other-tb-statistics