BKWF13_2322349bTwo people in England have developed tuberculosis (TB) after contact with pet cats in the first ever recorded cases of cat-to-human transmission, officials have said. The two human cases are linked to nine cases of the Mycobacterium bovis infection in cats in Berkshire and Hampshire last year, according to Public Health England (PHE). Both people were responding to treatment. Veterinarians believe domestic cats could be catching the disease by venturing into badger setts or from rodents that have been in badger setts. According to PHE, transmission of the bacteria from infected animals to humans can occur by inhaling or ingesting bacteria shed by the animal or through contamination of unprotected cuts in the skin while handling infected animals or their carcasses. However, PHE said it believed the risk of transmission from cats to humans was “very low”. MORE