Wildlife tuberculosis (TB) is becoming one of the emerging challenges for conservation globally. South Asian region is home to many endangered species like Asian elephants, rhinoceros, and Bengal tigers. Although it carries more than one‐third of global burden of human TB, TB in livestock and wildlife has not been adequately studied. This chapter reviews the present knowledge and information about animal‐adapted members of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and wildlife TB in South Asia. Recent studies of TB from different wild animals in Nepal and Bangladesh have found that M.orygis is an emerging threat of wildlife TB in the region. These studies have demonstrated wide diversity of M. orygis strains circulating in the region indicating its endemic distribution. M. orygis–associated TB was discovered from a free‐ranging rhinoceros in Nepal and the finding could signify threat of TB in other wild animals, including a possibility of unknown maintenance host. Recent studies also revealed an emerging challenge caused by TB to elephants in different South Asian countries like Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. Wildlife TB is becoming a conservation challenge in South Asia, but given the paucity of research in this area, it is overlooked and underexplored.
Part of the book: Global Exposition of Wildlife Management