The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has begun to routinely use TB whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the genetic typing of M. bovis. This technique has replaced the use of genotyping and can better differentiate between the strain of TB bacterium and identify where they have come from.
The technique known as genotyping was able to characterise M. bovis into different strains which tend to be geographically localised. The technique of WGS can go a step further in determining the entire DNA sequences of M. Bovis and therefore provide a greater degree of certainty about the origin of TB infection in a herd.
Most importantly, it will allow for the APHA to investigate TB breakdowns and possible transmission pathways between cattle herds, and help vets further understand how TB spreads locally and nationally.
For further information about WGS, visit the TB Hub: https://www.tbhub.co.uk/whole-genome-sequencing-of-m-bovis-isolates-in-great-britain/