Camelids (for example llamas, alpacas)

Although reports of infection in their natural habitat in South America are few, cases of TB have been diagnosed in llamas and alpacas in Great Britain.

There is no requirement to identify camelids or record their movements. A voluntary, private surveillance scheme for TB is available for the camelid industry.

Alpacas and llamas appear to be very susceptible to Mycobacterium bovis infection. Signs seen include loss of weight and respiratory signs. At post mortem examination, lesions are predominantly in the respiratory system although lesions are seen in other viscera in more generalised disease. Lung lesions are often very extensive and cavitation is common. Cavitation may be important in the spread of TB.

> Click here for Defra guidance on managing TB in camelids, including movement restrictions and compensation

In England and Scotland, compensation of £750 is payable for each TB affected camelid taken for slaughter.

> Click here for The Tuberculosis (Deer and Camelid) (England) Order 2014

> Click here for Tuberculosis (Deer and Camelid) Slaughter and Compensation (England) Order 2014

> Click here for Camelid TB Support & Research Group: Help and Support for those affected by Bovine TB in Alpacas & Llamas

> Click here for the British Alpaca Society (BAS)

> Click here for the British Llama Society (BLS)

> Click here for Research Gate: Stevens JB, Theon CO, Rohonczy E, Tessaro S, Kelly HA, Duncan JR. 1998. The Immunological Response of Llamas (Lama glama) Following Experimental Infection with Mycobacterium bovis. (Open Access)

Post-mortem images of camelids (images include graphic content):

Camelids1

Consolidation and focal pale lesions of tuberculosis in the lungs of an alpaca (image source: APHA).

Camelids2

Very extensive lesions of tuberculosis in the lung of a llama with cavitation of the dorsal lung (image source: APHA).

Camelids3

Incised lung of an alpaca with tuberculosis showing cavitation (image source: APHA).

Camelids4

Caseous lesions of tuberculosis in the bronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes of an alpaca (image source: APHA).

Camelids5

Focal lesions of tuberculosis in the liver of a llama. The llama also had extensive lung lesions. Parasitic lesions of the liver are common in alpacas and need to be differentiated from tuberculosis (image source: APHA).