Introduction: Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease affecting humans and animals. It is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) – Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium caprae, which are aetiological factors of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). In Poland, the bTB eradication programme exists. Animals diagnosed with tuberculosis are in the majority of cases not treated, but removed from their herd and then sanitary slaughtered.
Material and Methods: In total, 134 MTBC strains isolated from cattle in Poland were subjected to microbiological analysis. The resistance phenotype was tested for first-line antimycobacterial drugs used in tuberculosis treatment in humans: streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide. The strains were isolated from tissues collected post mortem, so the test for drug resistance fulfilled only epidemiological criterion.
Results: The analysis of drug-resistance of MTBC strains revealed that strains classified as M. bovis were susceptible to 4 antimycobacterial drugs: isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin, and ethambutol, and resistant to pyrazynamide. The strains classified as M. caprae were sensitive to all tested drugs.
Conclusion: The results indicate that despite enormously dynamic changes in mycobacterial phenotype, Polish strains of MTBC isolated from cattle have not acquired environmental resistance. The strains classified as M. bovis are characterised by natural resistance to pyrazinamide, which is typical for this species.