Contacts between domestic livestock and wildlife at the Kruger National Park Interface of the Republic of South Africa.

Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX 77843-4458, USA.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.51). 09/2011; 103(1):16-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.08.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One of the most important transboundary animal diseases (TADs) in the southern African region is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). In this region, a pathway for spread of FMD virus is contacts between cattle and certain species of wildlife. The objective of this study was to evaluate contacts between cattle and wildlife in the Kruger National Park (KNP) and the adjacent Limpopo province for the time periods October 2006 to March 2007 and April to September 2007. In this study, 87 livestock owners and 57 KNP field rangers were interviewed. Fifteen (17%) livestock owners reported contacts between wildlife and cattle. More livestock owners reported observing contacts between cattle and all wildlife species during October-March than April-September (p=0.012). However, no difference was found between these periods for contacts between cattle and individual wildlife species. A total of 18 (32%) field rangers reported contacts between cattle and wildlife. The most common species-specific contacts were between cattle and buffalo (63/year), cattle and impala (17/year) and cattle and lion (10/year). There were no significant differences in rangers reporting observed contacts between cattle and wildlife during October-March versus April-September or between rangers reporting observed contacts outside versus within the KNP. Overall, there was no evidence of higher contact rates between cattle and wildlife in the study area during October-March compared to April-September. Contact data collected in this study can be used to better understand the transmission of FMD virus in this region.

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    12/2014, Degree: Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, Supervisor: Ecole Doctorale SIBAGHE, Université Montpellier 2
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    ABSTRACT: African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) are reservoir hosts of Southern African Territories (SAT) foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus strains. In South Africa, infected buffaloes are found in the FMD-infected zone comprising the Kruger National Park (KNP) and its adjoining reserves. When these buffaloes stray into livestock areas, they pose a risk of FMD transmission to livestock. We assessed 645 records of stray buffalo events (3124 animals) from the FMD infected zone during 1998–2008 for (i) their temporal distribution, (ii) group size, (iii) age and gender composition, (iv) distance from the infected zone fence and (v) outcome reported for each event. A maximum entropy model was developed to evaluate spatial predictors of stray buffalo events and assess current disease control zones. Out of all buffaloes recorded straying, 38.5% escaped from the FMD infected zone during 2000/2001, following floods that caused extensive damage to wildlife fences. Escape patterns were not apparently influenced by season. The median size of stray groups was a single animal (IQR [1–2]). Adult animals predominated, comprising 90.4% (620/686) of the animals for which age was recorded. Of the 315 events with accurate spatial information, 204 (64.8%) were recorded within 1 km from the FMD infected zone. During late winter/spring (June–October), stray buffaloes were found significantly closer to the FMD infected zone (median = 0.3 km, IQR [0.1–0.6]). Less than 13% (40/315) of stray groups reached the FMD protection zone without vaccination, posing a higher risk of spreading FMD to these more susceptible livestock. Model outputs suggest that distance from the FMD infected zone, urban areas and permanent water sources contributed almost 85% to the spatial probability of stray buffalo events. Areas with a high probability for stray buffalo events were well covered by current disease control zones, although FMD risk mitigation could be improved by expanding the vaccination zone in certain areas.
    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 11/2014; DOI:10.1111/tbed.12280 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During August 2012-February 2013, bovine tuberculosis was detected in communal livestock bordering the Greater Kruger National Park Complex (GKNPC) in South Africa. Using spacer oligonucleotide and variable number tandem repeat typing, we identified the Mycobacterium bovis strain endemic in GKNPC wildlife. Our findings indicate bovine tuberculosis spillover from GKNPC wildlife to neighboring livestock.
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May 28, 2014