Guidelines for the prevention and control of tuberculosis in non-human primates: recommendations of the European Primate Veterinary Association Working Group on Tuberculosis


Dr Kerstin Mätz-Rensing, Department of Infectious Pathology, German Primate Centre, Kellnerweg 4, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Tel.: +49 551 3851 386;
fax: +49 551 3851 442;


Background  Effective tuberculosis (TB) control requires accurate diagnostic methods but the tuberculin skin test has serious limitations. Both false-negative and false-positive reactions are common, resulting in the spread of the infection and devastating TB outbreaks. Results of questionnaire surveys concerning TB testing practices in primate housing facilities showed great differences in testing practices. Although there was some uniformity regarding the sites of application, the amounts of tuberculin used and the time intervals for retesting, a great deal of variety was revealed considering the types of tuberculin preparations, the interpretation of tests and the susceptibility of animals.

Conclusion  Here, we summarize the most common practices as regards TB control and prevention for non-human primates, and attempt to establish a uniform guideline based upon our experience with primate husbandry and care programmes as well as recent developments in the literature. The present guideline represents a consensus recommendation intending to harmonize the existing protocols.