Saturday, December 01, 2012
Scientists mapped the genetic blueprints, or genomes, of bacteria isolated from 26 cows and four badgers during outbreaks of bovine TB in Northern Ireland.
It revealed that bacteria taken from badgers and cows were closely related at the farm level.
The findings, published in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens, shed no light on the direction of transmission – whether from badgers to cows or cows to badgers.
Prof Rowland Kao, from the project, said: "This study provides the first direct evidence of the close relationship between TB infections in cows and badgers, at a very local scale."
A planned badger cull in Gloucestershire has been postponed by the Government.