Navigation Links
Badger sleeping habits could help target TB control

Scientists found that badgers which strayed away from the family burrow in favour of sleeping in outlying dens were more likely to carry TB.

The 12-month study of 40 wild badgers was funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and could have implications for the management of bovine TB in parts of the UK. The behaviour of individual animals is thought to be a key factor in how the disease is spread among animals and livestock. The new findings could help to understand and develop measures to manage TB in badgers.

The study is published online on December 19 2012 in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The work was carried out by Dr Nicola Weber of the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus, who said: "At a time when stopping the spread of TB is vital for British farming, it's crucial to understand all of the factors involved in the transmission of the disease. Our research found that some individual badgers are more likely to sleep in setts in the outskirts of their territory. These individuals may be coming into contact with other sources of infection more frequently, meaning they could be more likely to both contract and to spread the disease, either to other badgers or to cattle."

Dr Weber attached electronic surveillance collars to badgers from eight groups at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire, where the badger population is naturally infected with TB. Scientists selected a sample of 40 badgers from across the groups to provide a representative sample of age and sex.

In the study, each group had a territory made up of one or two main setts, which are used as the primary year-round underground den. They also had between three and eight outlying setts, which were occupied less frequently. The badgers were monitored for 28 consecutive days per season for one year to investigate how patterns differed between individuals.

Professor Robbie McDonald of the University of Exeter said: "Badgers occupying outlying dens are most likely to be looking for a mate, or defending their group territories. We think they acquire infection as a result of living on the periphery and contacting more individuals from other social groups, rather than because they are ostracised as a result of contracting the disease. It would be valuable to test the relationship between behaviour and infection more thoroughly.

"For all sorts of human epidemics, from typhoid to the common cold, some people are known to behave in a particular way which means they are more likely to spread the disease than the average individual. Our research demonstrates that this may also be true of TB in badgers. This knowledge could have long-term implications for managing the disease. Whatever the means of tackling infection in wildlife, it would be beneficial to know which individuals are most likely to spread TB to badgers and to cattle, and to design cost-effective management measures accordingly."


Contact: Lou
University of Exeter

Related biology news :

1. X-ray laser helps slay parasite that causes sleeping sickness
2. Engineering technology reveals eating habits of giant dinosaurs
3. First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants
4. Antarctic albatross displays shift in breeding habits
5. Surprising pine beetle breeding habits help explain increasing tree damage, says CU study
6. New technique could make cell-based immune therapies for cancer safer and more effective
7. Missing polar weather systems could impact climate predictions
8. Countering brain chemical could prevent suicides
9. Lethal stings from the Australian box jellyfish could be treated with zinc
10. Could ending your fatty food habit cause withdrawal symptoms and depression?
11. New coronavirus has many potential hosts, could pass from animals to humans repeatedly
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am ... and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest ... ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: