Why can't cattle be vaccinated against TB

tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called the Mycobacterium tuberculosum, caused. It is transmitted through droplets that are produced when a person with pulmonary tuberculosis coughs. Contact for several hours in the same room is usually required so that infection can occur.

X-ray image of the lungs of a tuberculosis patient.
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs and causes a cough, often accompanied by sputum, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms can appear several years after the infection. Tuberculosis is especially dangerous for young children and people with weakened immune systems.

Tuberculosis can generally be treated well with special antibiotics that can be taken for several months. If left untreated, it is often fatal after a long period of illness.

Additional Information:

Infectious Disease Figures - Tuberculosis - Nombre de cas de tuberculose

PDF - Tuberculosis in Switzerland 2014: more cases of multi-resistance

PDF - Tuberculosis in Switzerland (2019)


Tuberculosis vaccine

The tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) contains live bovine tuberculosis bacteria. It does not contain aluminum.

The vaccination consists of a single dose that must be given as soon as possible.

There is no need to do a skin test (Mantoux) after vaccination.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and COVID-19 (English)


Recommendations for people with an increased risk of contact and / or transmission

Due to the epidemiological situation, BCG vaccination is only recommended for special risk groups. Newborns and infants under twelve months:

  • if the parents come from a country with a high prevalence of tuberculosis (Africa, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe),
  • and probably going back there again.

The recommendations for BCG vaccination are drawn up by the Swiss Lung League. Additional information on tuberculosis and its treatment is also available on the website Competence center tuberculosis retrievable.


Degree of protection of vaccination against tuberculosis

A systematic review of the literature (meta-analysis) has shown that the BCG vaccine reduces the likelihood of developing tuberculosis by 19 to 27% and that it can reduce the progression of an already active tuberculosis by 71%.


Known side effects of the tuberculosis vaccine

The vaccination against tuberculosis (BCG) generally causes pain and can leave scars at the injection site. The BCG vaccine should be administered intradermally. When administered subcutaneously, it can cause local infection and spread to the lymph nodes.

Occasionally, abscesses may appear on the chest and buttocks due to the spread of the bacteria in the vaccine. In rare cases, localized bone infection can occur.