Thursday, July 5, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Bovine tuberculosis - France: red fox

BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS - FRANCE: RED FOX
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Date: Sun 1 Jul 2018, 12:01 AM
Source: The Sunday Times [edited]
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tb-infected-foxes-tear-hole-in-badger-cull-plan-hdkfrk989>



Michael Gove's pledge to cull thousands of badgers to end the
tuberculosis epidemic in England's cattle faces a scientific
challenge, from research showing foxes can also carry the disease.

If confirmed, it could make Gove's cull pointless because it is based
on the belief that badgers are the only wild animals to infect
cattle.

Last month French government scientists published evidence showing
foxes could also carry and transmit bovine TB (bTB). "Infection in
wild red foxes was found in southern France, where livestock and other
wildlife species are infected," said researchers from the French Food
and Environment Agency, in a paper in the Emerging Infectious Diseases
journal.

"Our results suggest a possible role of the red fox in the
epidemiology of bTB."

[Byline: Jonathan Leake]

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Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
<promed@promedmail.org>

[Human and livestock diseases can be difficult to control where
infection persists in wildlife populations. Bovine tuberculosis due to
_Mycobacterium bovis_ has one of the widest host ranges of the entire
_M. tuberculosis_ complex (MTC), and can readily spill over into a
variety of domestic and wild mammals, including humans. This makes
control by culling very frustrating and inefficient. This case
increases the list of potential hosts for _M. bovis_. There is need to
pursue further research to unveil the role red foxes might have in the
dynamics of _M. bovis_.

Regarding culling badgers as a control method: for over 3 decades,
European badgers (_Meles meles_) have been culled by the British
government in a series of attempts to limit the spread of
_Mycobacterium bovis_, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis
(TB), to cattle. Despite these efforts, the incidence of TB in cattle
has risen consistently, re-emerging as a primary concern for Britain's
cattle industry. Recently, badger culling has attracted controversy
because experimental studies have reached contrasting conclusions,
with culled areas showing either markedly reduced or increased
incidence of TB in cattle. Furthermore, a study showed that culling
reduces cattle TB incidence in the areas that are culled, but
increases incidence in adjoining areas. However, the detrimental
effects of culling detected on neighboring land are initially
substantial, but may become less strong on later culls. The impact of
badger culling on cattle TB incidence depends critically upon the
geographic extent and temporal pattern of culling. This has confused
attempts to develop a science-based management policy.

The data available up to date strongly suggest that badger culling is
only likely to be beneficial if conducted systematically over large
areas, and sustained over several years. Previous analyses have
suggested that culling conducted in small, localized areas has overall
detrimental effects. Detailed studies should be carried out to
determine whether such level of effort would be feasible in the long
term, whether the level of disease control achieved would be
sufficient to warrant the costs involved, and whether the impact of
badger removal would become a conservation and ecosystem health
problem. If red foxes emerge as an important new player for bovine TB,
culling badgers might become even more controversial. - Mod.PMB

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
France: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/100>]

[See Also:
Bovine tuberculosis - Ireland (04): (KY) probable badger source
http://promedmail.org/post/20180212.5623365
Bovine tuberculosis - Ireland: (KY) spread, control
http://promedmail.org/post/20180121.5574684
2013
----
Bovine tuberculosis - UK: (England), spread
http://promedmail.org/post/20130622.1787066
2012
----
Bovine tuberculosis - UK (04): (WAL, NIR) badger vaccination
http://promedmail.org/post/20121130.1432082
Bovine tuberculosis - UK (03): (England) badger control
http://promedmail.org/post/20120917.1296946

Bovine tuberculosis - UK: (England) badger control
http://promedmail.org/post/20120121.1017815
2011
----
Bovine tuberculosis - UK: badger vaccination
http://promedmail.org/post/20111014.3087
Bovine tuberculosis - UK: (Wales) badger control
http://promedmail.org/post/20110328.0969
2010
----
Bovine tuberculosis - UK (05): badger vaccination
http://promedmail.org/post/20101110.4082
2009
----
Bovine tuberculosis - UK (04): badger vaccination
http://promedmail.org/post/20090707.2443]
.................................................sb/pmb/ao/jh
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