Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New thinking required on wildlife disease, experts say

Date:
November 29, 2011
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Scientist say much more could be done to predict the likelihood and spread of serious disease -- such as tuberculosis or foot-and-mouth disease -- in Australian wildlife and commercial stock.

A University of Adelaide scientist says much more could be done to predict the likelihood and spread of serious disease -- such as tuberculosis (TB) or foot-and-mouth disease -- in Australian wildlife and commercial stock.

Professor Corey Bradshaw and colleagues have evaluated freely available software tools that provide a realistic prediction of the spread of disease among animals.

They used a combination of models to look at the possible spread of TB among feral water buffalo in the Northern Territory.

Buffalo can harbour bovine tuberculosis, which poses a threat to commercial cattle livestock. They were introduced to northern Australia in the 1800s from Timor-Leste. In the 1980s and 1990s the government of the time began a broad-scale culling program, culling tens of thousands of buffalo.

"The cull successfully reduced or eradicated buffalo from major pastoral lands in the Northern Territory, taking tuberculosis with it, but since then there has been no major follow-up culling. The buffalo population is re-invading the formerly culled areas," says Professor Bradshaw, who is Director of Ecological Modelling at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute.

"Although Australia now trades its livestock under the `TB-free' banner, the disease is prevalent throughout Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Realistically, it's only a matter of time before it rears its ugly head again here. If it does, it could potentially cost our cattle industry billions of dollars."

Professor Bradshaw says Australia needs to implement tools such as those combining disease and population models to help plan the response to any potential return of TB -- or other, nastier diseases, such as foot-and-mouth.

"We found that the probability of detecting a disease as well known as TB in buffalo was extremely small, even for thousands of `sentinel' animals culled each year. Current monitoring programs by the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (part of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service -- AQIS) could definitely benefit from the use of these software tools, which are freely available for anyone to download," Professor Bradshaw says.

"If the goal of culling programs is to reduce prevalence of TB to near-zero, our prediction is that somewhere between 30-50% of the current buffalo population would have to be culled each year for about 15 years. That's a lot of buffalo -- at least 100,000 killed over the first five years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Clive R. McMahon, Philip S. Miller, Robert C. Lacy, Michael J. Watts, Michelle L. Verant, John P. Pollak, Damien A. Fordham, Thomas A. A. Prowse, Barry W. Brook. Novel coupling of individual-based epidemiological and demographic models predicts realistic dynamics of tuberculosis in alien buffalo. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.02081.x

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "New thinking required on wildlife disease, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129112345.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2011, November 29). New thinking required on wildlife disease, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129112345.htm
University of Adelaide. "New thinking required on wildlife disease, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129112345.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins