Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 19:22 UK

Researcher tested for bovine TB

A worker at a bovine tuberculosis research centre in Gloucestershire is suspected of having contracted the disease from an infected badger.

About 30 staff at Woodchester Park near Stroud have also been tested for TB.

The site is run by The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Bovine TB is common in cattle but rare in humans because the bacterium is killed by pasteurisation.

A Fera spokesman said: "Fera is investigating a suspected bovine TB infection. We are currently awaiting confirmation of the nature of the infection from laboratory tests.

"As a precautionary measure, Fera has undertaken additional monitoring of other staff working where bovine TB may be present.

"We are currently awaiting the results of this monitoring."

Between 1994 and 2007 some 453 people in the UK developed the bovine form of the respiratory disease.

Mycobacterium bovis, which causes bovine TB, is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the main cause of TB in humans.

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