"Uncertainty was also larger in our study compared with the meta-analytic results of Brei et al., perhaps because we addressed model selection uncertainty and did not treat co-located stations or transects as statistically independent samples. Large deer home range size may reduce statistical independence of our study sites, but is considered less than 1.6 km in radius within seasons and possibly decreases in areas of high deer density (reviewed in ; also see ). Distances between our treated and control sites were always at least twice this radius, but note that any violation of the independence assumption would mean that our uncertainty estimate (i.e., the width of confidence limits in Figure 3) is too low and differences between our results and those of the USDA study may be even larger than what we have reported here. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The use of animal host-targeted pesticide application to control blacklegged ticks, which transmit the Lyme disease bacterium between wildlife hosts and humans, is receiving increased attention as an approach to Lyme disease risk management. Included among the attractive features of host-targeted approaches is the reduced need for broad-scale pesticide usage. In the eastern USA, one of the best-known of these approaches is the corn-baited “4-poster” deer feeding station, so named because of the four pesticide-treated rollers that surround the bait troughs. Wildlife visitors to these devices receive an automatic topical application of acaricide, which kills attached ticks before they can reproduce. We conducted a 5-year controlled experiment to estimate the effects of 4-poster stations on tick populations in southeastern Massachusetts, where the incidence of Lyme disease is among the highest in the USA.
We deployed a total of forty-two 4-posters among seven treatment sites and sampled for nymph and adult ticks at these sites and at seven untreated control sites during each year of the study. Study sites were distributed among Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. The density of 4-poster deployment was lower than in previous 4-poster studies and resembled or possibly exceeded the levels of effort considered by county experts to be feasible for Lyme disease risk managers.
Relative to controls, blacklegged tick abundance at treated sites was reduced by approximately 8.4%, which is considerably less than in previous 4-poster studies.
In addition to the longer duration and greater replication in our study compared to others, possible but still incomplete explanations for the smaller impact we observed include the lower density of 4-poster deployment as well as landscape and mammalian community characteristics that may complicate the ecological relationship between white-tailed deer and blacklegged tick populations.
"Culling can be an effective bTB management strategy (Corner 2007, Livingstone et al. 2009, Carstensen and DonCarlos 2011), but application is often not straightforward (McDonald et al. 2008, White et al. 2008). Because white-tailed deer exhibit high site fidelity to summer range (Verme 1973, Tierson et al. 1985, Van Deelen et al. 1998, Nelson and Mech 1999), reduced density created by culling would not likely expand or shift home ranges of adjacent deer. To date, culling has not been seriously considered in Michigan (O'Brien et al. 2006, 2011b), presumably because of public opposition (Dorn and Mertig 2005), and the low rate of cattle herd infections (O'Brien et al. 2011a). "
"white-tailed deer, whereas female deer have a more-limited range (McCoy et al., 2005). A New York study conducted in the Adirondacks showed an average range for white-tailed deer of 2.25 km 2 in the summer and 1.35 km 2 in the winter (Tierson et al., 1985). Landscape fragmentation was a negative predictor of the size of white-tailed deer home ranges (Quinn et al., 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Sera collected from 299 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) harvested in New York State by hunters in November 2010 were assayed for anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies. White-tailed deer are a useful sentinel for risk of human and domestic animal exposure to Toxoplasma oocysts and pose a potential risk for infection to humans and other animals by ingestion of the meat. White-tailed deer share grazing space with domestic animals raised for meat and are likely to be exposed by horizontal transmission through oocyst consumption, similar to other grazing species of economic concern. Overall, 42.2% of samples were positive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indicating a true prevalence of 38.5%, with a significantly higher proportion of adult than immature deer antibody positive. No significant difference in prevalence was found between male and female deer nor was there a significant effect of local human population density on deer antibody prevalence. These results provide insight into the risk of environmental Toxoplasma exposure in New York State and support horizontal transmission through oocyst consumption as the most common mechanism of white-tailed deer infection.
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