Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2012
Publication Date: September 10, 2012
Citation: Palmer, M.V. 2012. Mycobacterium bovis: Wildlife reservoirs and spillover hosts [abstract]. In: Proceedings of International Wildlife Tuberculsois Conference, September 9-12, 2012, Skukuza, South Africa. p.7. Technical Abstract: Mycobacterium bovis is the cause of tuberculosis in animals and sometimes humans. Many countries have long standing programs to eradicate tuberculosis in livestock, principally cattle. As disease prevalence in cattle decreases, eradication efforts are impeded by passage of M. bovis from wildlife reservoirs to cattle. Disease can persist in wildlife reservoir hosts through intraspecies disease transmission, without contributions from a different animal host species. Recognized wildlife reservoirs of M. bovis include the brushtail possum in New Zealand, European badger in Great Britain and Ireland, African buffalo in South Africa, wild boar in the Iberian Peninsula, and white-tailed deer in Michigan, USA. Disease eradication efforts will require elimination of M. bovis transmission between wildlife reservoirs and cattle. In some cases there is a single wildlife reservoir host important in wildlife-cattle transmission of M. bovis. Such is the case in Michigan, USA where white-tailed deer serve as a wildlife reservoir. In contrast in South Africa and the Iberian Peninsula there are complex multi-host situations with both intraspecies and interspecies transmission among multiple potential reservoir host species such as African buffalo and greater kudu in Africa and wild boar and red deer in the Iberian Peninsula. In both single- and multi-host epidemiological systems there are often “spillover” host species that become infected, but do not contribute to the overall epidemiology of disease. Identifying the species that are important in disease persistence and transmission is critical to disease eradication efforts.