Glasgow University scientists to examine badger-TB link

A £1 million study of the extent to which badgers spread tuberculosis (TB) in cattle has been launched by British scientists.

Loading Comments

Researchers will map the DNA of the bug responsible for the disease, Mycobacterium bovis, and analyse it using sophisticated mathematical and statistical models.

The scientists from the University of Glasgow hope to uncover vital information about the way TB is transmitted.

This is turn will help policy makers come up with more efficient strategies for curbing the spread of bovine TB.

Questions remain over the controversial culling of badgers, suspected of driving the epidemic.

The Government has announced that pilot badger culls in the UK will continue this year but will not now be rolled out to other areas.

An independent experts' report has found that "controlled shooting" of free-running badgers cannot deliver the level of culling needed to bring about a meaningful reduction of TB in cattle.

The new research will involve studying thousands of archived samples of bacteria that have been isolated from badgers and cattle over 20 years.

Lead scientist Professor Rowland Kao said: "This study is an excellent example of the potential for new technologies to transform our understanding of epidemiology.

"The mathematical models produced for this study are important for understanding not only the transmission of bovine TB, but also the dynamics of other infectious diseases."

The work, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will be conducted over three years.


Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Chilling in Glasgow's first Ice Bar and getting Mhor than I bargained for




Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

My thoughts after Police Scotland are ordered to apologise over IRA interrogation techniques slur.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.