Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic contagious disease responsible for major agricultural economic losses. Abattoir monitoring and trace-back systems are an appropriate method to control bovine tuberculosis, particularly in beef cattle. In the present study, a trace-back system was applied to bovine tuberculosis cases in Korean native Hanwoo beef cattle. Bovine tuberculosis was detected in three index beef cattle during abattoir monitoring in Jeonbuk Province, Korea, and the original herds were traced back from each index cow. All cattle in each original herd were subjected to tuberculin skin test. The positive rates in the tuberculin skin test were 64.6% (62 of 96), 4.8% (2 of 42), and 8.1% (3 of 37) at farms A, B, and C, respectively. On post-mortem examination of 56 tuberculin-positive cattle, 62% had granulomatous lesions, and Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from 40 (71.4%) of the cattle. Molecular typing by spoligotyping and the mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable-number tandem repeat assay revealed the genotype of the M. bovis strains from the index cattle were same as the M. bovis genotype in each original herd. The results suggest that tracing back from index cattle to the original herd is an effective method to control bovine tuberculosis in beef cattle.
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