Navigation Links
New thinking required on wildlife disease

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, Australia.

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."

The team's work has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.


Contact: Corey Bradshaw
University of Adelaide

Related biology news :

1. New thinking on regulation of sex chromosomes in fruit flies
2. Time to reboot thinking on trans fats -- natural trans fats from dairy and beef are good
3. Rethinking extinction
4. Magical thinking about islands is an illusion
5. Queens researchers propose rethinking renewable energy strategy
6. Mediterranean diet may lower risk of brain damage that causes thinking problems
7. New UT Knoxville research finds new ways to understand bacterias thinking
8. Systems thinking and the obesity debate
9. Scientists urge EPA to adopt systems thinking
10. Rethinking Alzheimers disease and its treatment targets
11. MSU discoveries upend traditional thinking about how plants make certain compounds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , Oct. 26, 2015  Delta ID Inc., ... authentication to mobile and PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® ... the arrows NX F-02H launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC ... F-02H is the second smartphone to include iris recognition ... in ARROWS NX F-04G in May 2015, world,s first ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... BERLIN and GOLETA, California ... the HFES conference, BIOPAC and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce ... and eye tracking data captured during interactive real-world tasks ... plug and play integration of their established wearable solutions ... researchers to synchronize gaze behavior captured with SMI ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, ... applied spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but not limited ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received ... of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research ... clinical trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2 nouvelles études permettent d ... différences entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque ... humains . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle ... charge efficace de l,un des problèmes de santé ... .    --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting ... New York . ... website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to ... the presentation will be available on the website approximately ...
Breaking Biology Technology: