SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.80 número3Assessment of viability and acrosomal status of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) sperm after treatment with calcium ionophore and heparin índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versión On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versión impresa ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.80 no.3 Cape Town  2009




Cooking and drying as effective mechanisms in limiting the zoonotic effect of Mycobacterium bovis in beef



M van der MerweI; J L BekkerII; P van der MerweIII; A L MichelIV

ICity of Tshwane Municipality, PO Box 1401, Lyttelton, Centurion, 0140 South Africa
IIDepartment Environmental Health, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa
IIIDirectorate Animal Health, Department of Defence, Private Bag X11, Noordbrug, 2522 South Africa
IVARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X5, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa. Presentaddress: Department Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X4, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




For this study 48 non-infected muscle, lymphatic and visceral bovine tissue samples were collected from an approved red meat abattoir and spiked with 8 x107cfu/ml of M. bovis. The different spiked samples were subjected to cooking and drying (drying through the process of biltong-making) processes in a controlled laboratory environment. Mycobacterial isolates confirmed as M. bovis by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were observed in 17 of a total of 576 samples that were exposed to the secondary processing method of cooking. The study showed that not only can M. bovis survive the cooking process but the survival of the bacterium will be determined by its unique adaptive changes to the surrounding composition of the environment. The results for the samples exposed to the drying process (n = 96) did not show any growth, suggesting that the process of biltong production as used in this study is likely to render infected meat safe for human consumption.

Keywords: biltong, beef, food processing, food safety, Mycobacterium. bovis, tuberculosis, tissue, zoonotic



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Bengis R G, Kriek N P J, Keet D F, Raath J P De Vos V, Huchzermeyer H F K A 1996. An Outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in a free-living buffalo population in the Kruger National Park. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 63: 15-18        [ Links ]

2. Cleaveland S, Shaw D J, Mfinangas G, Shirimag G, Kazwala R R, Eblate E, Sharp M 2007 Mycobacterum bovis in rural Tanzania: risk factors for infection in human and cattle populations. Tuberculosis 87: 30-43        [ Links ]

3. Colston M J, Cox R A 1999 Mycobacterial growth and dormancy. In Ratledge C, Dale J (eds) Mycobacteria: molecular biology and virulence. Blackwell Science, London: 260-287        [ Links ]

4. CornerLAL, Pheiffer D U, de Lisle G W, Morris R S, Budlle B M 2002 Natural transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in captive brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpeaula) New Zealand Veterinary Journal 50: 154-162        [ Links ]

5. Cosivi O, Grange J M, Daborn C J, Raviglione M C, Fujikura T, Cousins D, Robinson R A, Huchzermeyer H F, De Kantor Meslin F X 1998 Zoonotic tuberculosis due to M. bovis in developing countries. Emerging Infectious Diseases 4: 59-70.         [ Links ]

6. Cousins D V, Wilton S D, Francis B R 1991 Use of DNA amplification for the rapid identification of Mycobacterium bovis. Veterinary Microbiology 27: 187-195.         [ Links ]

7. Daborn C J, Grange J M 1993 HIV/AIDS and its implications for the control of animal tuberculosis. British Veterinary Journal 149: 405-417        [ Links ]

8. Dekker M 1984 The mycobacteria: a sourcebook (2nd edn). Marcel Dekker, New York and Basel        [ Links ]

9. Frazier W C, Westhoff D C 1988 Food microbiology (4th edn). McGraw-Hill, New York        [ Links ]

10. Keet D F, Kriek N P J, Huchzermeyer H, Bengis R G 1994 Avanced tuberculosis in an african buffalo (Syncercus caffer Sparrman). Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 65: 79-83        [ Links ]

11. Lim A, Eleuterio M, Hutter B, Murugasu O, Dick T 1999 Oxygen depletion-induced dormancy in Mycobacterium bovis. Journal of Bacteriology 181: 2252-2256        [ Links ]

12. Michel A 2003 More about animal tuberculosis. ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Onderstepoort. Online at: (accessed 7 December 2003)        [ Links ]

13. Michel A L, Bengis R G, Keet D F, Hofmeyr M, De Klerk L M., Cross P C, Jolles A E, Cooper D, Whyte I J, Buss P, Godfroid J 2006 Wildlife tuberculosis in South African conservation areas: implications and challenges. Veterinary Microbiology 112: 91-100        [ Links ]

14. Michel A L, Hlokwe T M, Coetzee M L, Mare L, Connoway L V P, Rutten M G, Kremer K 2008 High genetic diversity of M. bovis in a low prevalence setting in South Africa. Veterinary Microbiology 126: 151-159        [ Links ]

15. Michel A L, Coetzee M L, Keet D, Mare L, Warren R, Cooper D, Bengis R G, Kremer K Van Helden P 2009. Molecular epidemiology of M. bovis isolates from free-ranging wildlife in South African game reserves. Veterinary Microbiology 133: 335-343        [ Links ]

16. Munyeme M, Muma J B, Samui K L, Skjerve G, Nambota A M, Phiri I G K, Rigouts L, Tryland M 2008 Prevalence of bovine tuberculosis and animal level risk factors for indigenous cattle under different grazing strategies in the livestock/wildlife interface areas of Zambia. Journal of South African Veterinary Association 69: 98-101        [ Links ]

17. Portaels F, Paltyn S R 1982 Growth of myco-bacteria in relation to the pH of the medium. Annales de Microbiologie 133: 213-221        [ Links ]

18. Shapton A D, Shapton F N 1993 Principles and practices for the safe processing of foods. Butterworth, Heinemann, Oxford        [ Links ]

19. Department of Agriculture, South Africa 2000 Meat Safety Act, No. 40 of 2000. Government Gazette, 425(21707), Oct. 27. Draft regulations published (January 2004) for public comments. Online at:        [ Links ]

20. Sprenger R A 1999 Hygiene for management (8th edn). Highfield Publications, South Yorkshire, UK        [ Links ]

21. Steward G R, Wernisch L, Stabler R, Mengan J A, Hinds G, Laing K G, Young D B, Butcher P D 2002 Dissection of the heat-shock response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis using mutants and micro arrays. Journal ofMicrobiology 148: 3129-3138        [ Links ]

22. Thornton H, Gracey J F 1974 Textbook of meat hygiene (6th edn). Baillière Tindall, London        [ Links ]

23. Van der Merwe M 2005 The survival potential of M. bovis in secondary processed game meat. M-Tech dissertation, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa        [ Links ]

24. Young J S, Gormley E, Wellington E M H 2005 Molecular detection of Mycobacterium bovis BCG (Pasteur) in soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71: 1946-1952        [ Links ]

25. Young J S 2003 Molecular detection of Mycobacterium bovis in the environment. PhD thesis, University of Warwick, Warwick        [ Links ]

26. World Health Organization 1994 Zoonotic tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis). Memorandum from a WHO meeting (with the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Bulletin of the WHO 72(6): 851-857        [ Links ]

27. World Health Organization (WHO) 2004 An expanded DOTS framework for effective tuberculosis control. Bulletin of the WHO 363(94): 814-819.         [ Links ]



Received: November 2008
Accepted: June 2009



*Author for correspondence. E-mail:

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons