Update on reports of cat-to-human tuberculosis transmission in England

As a follow-up to our March 28, 2014, blog post about two people in England developing tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat, we want  to share with you a risk assessment report recently issued by Public Health England. The report’s summary states, “The risk of cat-to-human transmission of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) has never been formally assessed. In response to the first incident of cat-to-human transmission of M. bovis infection in England, a review of the literature was completed to estimate the risk that M. bovis infected cats present to human health. Assessment of risk: Very low risk of transmission of M. bovis from cats to humans.”

According to Public Health England, both human patients were responding to treatment for tuberculosis and officials are unaware of any cases of fatal human TB caused by contagion from M. bovis-infected cats.

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