Dianne Summers of the Tb Support group has kindly given us permission to publish this TB update. The spread of TB in camelids is pretty shocking, particularly as this is not the full story. If you suspect that you have TB in your herd please contact Dianne on the telephone numbers on the bottom of her letter so that she can advise and help you.
Dear TB Support Group and TB Update Group and B.A.S. B.C.L.
PLEASE NOTE THIS DATA IS FROM 28 HERDS THAT ARE IN CONTACT WITH THE TB SUPPORT GROUP. 18 OF WHICH ARE CURRENTLY UNDER RESTRICTION AND A FURTHER 10 NOW OUT OF RESTRICTION.
THERE ARE OTHER HERDS UNDER RESTRICTION THAT ARE NOT IN TOUCH WITH THE TB
SUPPORT GROUP. I THEREFORE HAVE NO DATA ON THOSE.
Firstly, I am pleased to announce that my name and the TB Support Group is now added onto the AH/DEFRA letter of consent to test. The letter of consent is the document given to new herds that have the misfortune to come down to TB. A document they must sign when they agree to test. I am thankful to AH/DEFRA for this and proves not only that we are working together but also they recognise the TB Support Group as invaluable help for fellow camelid sufferers. This also puts paid to those that have classed the work I do as being scare mongering and hysteria. DEFRA/AH would hardly contemplate putting my name on such an important document if that was the case.
Up to Dec 31st 2009 those in contact with the TB support group lost 144
alpacas/llamas confirmed TB. This works out roughly 12 a month. From that 144 we had 12 skin test positives 7 of which were from one herd.
In the first 4 months of 2010 From 1st Jan - 30th April 2010 members in contact with the TB support group have lost:
9 of which were skin test positives
48 were Rapid/Gamma blood test positives All of which passed the skin test.
37 sudden death or euthanized due to clinical signs
94 losses in 4 months = 23.5 per month so double the quarterly ratio of last year.
From this 94 only 9 were skin test positives.
Again this is only from data provided from herds in contact with the TB support group.
We all know the skin test isn't removing infected animals from the herds with the exception of a low number of skin test positives but the blood tests are. This is why the gamma interferon validation project on Tb free areas is vital and a very important update will follow shortly. Watch this space - but we have a lot to thank BAS Mike Birch for - for his constant hard work and the herds who have kindly offered up their alpacas for testing - the alpaca industry have an awful lot to thank you both for. Once/If validated we are well on our way to a reliable ante mortem test but this of course depends on the findings from the trials. Lets all keep our fingers crossed. It is working well on herds with breakdowns but it needs to work well on those not in a breakdown. We all know specificity v sensitivity and the importance of both.
DATA ON BLOOD TESTS
From Nov 2009 - March 31st the Gamma Interferon blood test has been used on 4 herds in the TB Support Group and has picked up 50 TB infected alpacas from 155 alpacas tested in just 4 months on 4 herds.
3 other herds in the TB support group have had both the rapid and gamma blood tests done on their entire herds in May so their data and results are not included in this update. However the Gamma is picking up far more infected animals than the rapid.
Lastly my heartfelt thanks go out to the kind members of the TB Support Group who have kindly submitted their data to me - not only on the numbers lost but also blood test results - side effects - watch group etc.
Thanks to them we have this data and thanks to them this data has driven the gamma validation project along. So thanks to them we are hopefully on our way to a reliable ante mortem test.
I hope you found this information useful - please feel free to post this
information on your websites or blogs.
Camelid TB Support Group
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