Type

Journal Article

Authors

L A L Corner
E. Costello
E Sovsic
G McGrath
D M Collins
E Gormley
D Murphy

Subjects

Microbiology

Topics
isolation purification ireland mustelidae sentinel surveillance prevalence animals female cattle population control tuberculosis bovine microbiology male mycobacterium bovis epidemiology

Tuberculosis in cattle herds are sentinels for Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles): the Irish Greenfield Study. (2011)

Abstract In Ireland badgers are removed in response to tuberculosis (TB) breakdowns in cattle herds (focal culling). Prevalence studies, conducted using a detailed post mortem and bacteriological examination, showed that 36-50% of badgers were infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Focal culling forms part of the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB in cattle and is based on the premise that badgers in areas with herd breakdowns have a higher prevalence of infection than the badger population at large. However, the hypothesis that cattle can be used as sentinels for infection in the badger population has never been formally tested. In this study we tested the hypothesis by determining the infection prevalence in badgers in areas where there had been historically, a consistently low prevalence of infection in cattle. Low cattle TB prevalence areas were defined as those herds with ≤ 2 standard reactors in the annual round of skin testing over the preceding 5 years (Greenfield sites). Using GIS, and adjusting for variation in land use, previous culling and cattle density, 198 Greenfield sites were identified and surveyed, and 138 areas with badger setts or signs of badger activity were identified. A single badger was removed from 87 sites and all were examined using detailed post mortem and bacteriological procedures. A prevalence of M. bovis infection of 14.9% was found in the Greenfield site badgers. This prevalence was significantly lower (P<0.001) than in badgers removed during focal culling (36.6%). The results validate the use of cattle as sentinels for TB in badgers and support the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB. The geographic variation in M. bovis infection prevalence in the Irish badger populations will be used when devising strategies for the incorporation of badger vaccination into the long term bovine TB control programme.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

L A L Corner, E. Costello, E Sovsic, G McGrath, D M Collins, E Gormley, D Murphy

Experts in our system

1
L A L Corner
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 34
 
2
Eamon Costello
Dublin City University
Total Publications: 94
 
3
Guy McGrath
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 52
 
4
Denis M Collins
Dublin City University
Total Publications: 26
 
5
E Gormley
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 68
 
6
Denise Murphy
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 13