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Bovine tuberculosis in badgers in four areas in Ireland: does tuberculosis cluster?

Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Clinical Research Building, Ont., N1G 2W1, Guelph, Canada.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.51). 06/2003; 59(1-2):103-11. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-5877(03)00055-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We described the distribution of badger populations in four different areas in the Republic of Ireland. The data came from periodic targeted badger-removal and subsequent post-mortem examinations conducted between 1989 and September 1997, and from a formal badger-removal project in the same areas from 1997 through 1999. Records were complete for 2292 badgers regarding the date of capture, tuberculosis status, geographical area and specific sett from where the badgers were snared. Of 3187 setts, 2290 had no badgers recorded against them (i.e. were inactive). The badger-level prevalence of tuberculosis differed among areas (range 13-29%). Badger populations were highly clustered by sett, and this result was similar over the four study areas. The median number of badgers per active sett was 2. Tuberculous badgers also clustered within a sett. The third quartile of tuberculous badgers was 1 per active sett. The prevalence of tuberculous badgers within a sett was not related to the total number of badgers. There was little evidence of spatial clustering with only one local cluster of tuberculous setts in each of three areas, and none in the fourth area. After adjusting for the number of badgers per sett, only one area had spatial clusters identified.

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