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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PREVENTION AND CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR TUBERCULOSIS IN CATTLE AND WILDLIFE RESERVOIRS Title: Mycobacterium bovis: a model pathogen at the interface of domestic livestock, wildlife, and humans

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Thacker, Tyler
item Waters, Wade
item Gortazar, Christian -
item Corner, Leigh -

Submitted to: Veterinary Medicine International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2012
Publication Date: June 11, 2012
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Thacker, T.C., Waters, W.R., Gortazar, C., Corner, L.A. 2012. Mycobacterium bovis: a model pathogen at the interface of domestic livestock, wildlife, and humans. Veterinary Medicine International [serial online]. 2012:Article ID 236205. Available: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/vmi/2012/236205/.

Interpretive Summary: Interactions between wildlife and livestock are more important than ever as most emerging diseases in humans originate from animals, with many of those animals being wildlife species. Interactions involving domestic animals, wildlife and humans create environments favorable to the emergence of new diseases. Today, reservoirs of Mycobacterium bovis, a cause of tuberculosis in animals and humans exist in a range of countries and various wild animal populations, for example, tuberculosis exists in free-ranging populations of white-tailed deer in the US, brushtail possum in New Zealand, badger in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and wild boar in Spain. As many countries attempt to eradicate M. bovis from domestic livestock, efforts are impeded by transmission of disease between livestock and wildlife. It will not be possible to control these important diseases of livestock unless transmission between wildlife and domestic animals is halted. Such an endeavor will require a collaborative effort between agricultural, wildlife, environmental and political interests.

Technical Abstract: Complex and dynamic interactions involving domestic animals, wildlife and humans create environments favorable to the emergence of new diseases, or re-emergence of diseases in new host species. Today, reservoirs of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of tuberculosis in animals and a serious zoonosis, exist in a range of countries and wild animal populations, for example, free-ranging populations of white-tailed deer in the US, brushtail possum in New Zealand, badger in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and wild boar in Spain. The establishment of these reservoirs is the direct result of factors including spillover from domestic livestock, translocation of wildlife, supplemental feeding of wildlife, and wildlife populations reaching densities beyond normal habitat carrying capacities due to human intervention. As many countries attempt to eradicate M. bovis from domestic livestock, efforts are impeded by spillback from wildlife reservoirs. It will not be possible to eradicate this important zoonosis from livestock unless transmission between wildlife and domestic animals is halted. Such an endeavor will require a collaborative effort between agricultural, wildlife, environmental and political interests.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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