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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: TUBERCULOSIS IN WILDLIFE

Author
item Palmer, Mitchell

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2003
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: With advances in veterinary and public health the incidence of bovine and human tuberculosis due to M. bovis has declined dramatically in developed countries. However, in some countries successful eradication has been prevented by the presence of a wildlife reservoir of M. bovis. No country with a wildlife reservoir of M. bovis has successfully eradicated infection from domestic livestock. Great Britain has experienced a rising incidence of tuberculosis in cattle due to endemic M. bovis infection among badgers (Meles meles). In New Zealand, brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are the source of M. bovis in domestic cattle and other wildlife species. In 1994 the first known reservoir of M. bovis in free-living wildlife in the United States was identified in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in northeast Michigan. Twenty-nine M. bovis infected cattle herds have been identified in Michigan since that time and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of M. bovis isolates suggest cattle became infected through contact with white-tailed deer. The presence of wildlife reservoirs of M. bovis represents a serious challenge to the eradication of M. bovis. Countries with wildlife reservoirs of tuberculosis have adopted policies to control wildlife populations to decrease animal density and slow disease transmission. Many have concluded that vaccines for cattle or wildlife are the only hope of controlling transmission between wildlife and cattle. Strategies for vaccines in wildlife differ from those embraced for vaccines for domestic animals. Novel approaches to vaccine design, delivery methods, duration of immunity and potential exposure of non-target species must be considered.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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