Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a group of bacteria collectively known as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex . The commonest strain of Mycobacterium found among TB patients in Ghana is the M. tuberculosis followed by Mycobacterium africanum and Mycobacterium bovis. M. bovis is virulent for cattle but can infect other animals and humans causing disease and pathology similar to M. tuberculosis , which is naturally pathogenic for man . It has been established that 3% of pulmonary TB in Accra, Ghana is caused by M. boviswhich raises concern about possible aerosol transmission between cattle and human population or within the human population.
Despite rigorous control efforts, the current global estimates indicate that 1/3 of the world’s population has TB infection and 5-10% of these individuals if HIV negative will develop active TB during their lifetime, contributing to a global annual incidence of approximately 9.2 million cases. A study in the Ho district of the Volta Region revealed a prevalence rate of 3.1% bovine TB infection in cattle and 5.9% within a cluster and others have also indicated transmission from humans to animals and vice versa.