Orton R, Deason M, Bessell PR, Green D, Kao RR & Salvador LCM (2018) Identifying genotype specific elevated-risk areas and associated herd risk factors for bovine tuberculosis spread in British cattle. Epidemics, 24, pp. 34-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epidem.2018.02.004
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic zoonosis with major health and economic impact on the cattle industry. Despite extensive control measures in cattle and culling trials in wildlife, the reasons behind the expansion of areas with high incidence of bTB breakdowns in Great Britain remain unexplained. By balancing the importance of cattle movements and local transmission on the observed pattern of cattle outbreaks, we identify areas at elevated risk of infection from specific Mycobacterium bovis genotypes. We show that elevated-risk areas (ERAs) were historically more extensive than previously understood, and that cattle movements alone are insufficient for ERA spread, suggesting the involvement of other factors. For all genotypes, we find that, while the absolute risk of infection is higher in ERAs compared to areas with intermittent risk, the statistically significant risk factors are remarkably similar in both, suggesting that these risk factors can be used to identify incipient ERAs before this is indicated by elevated incidence alone. Our findings identify research priorities for understanding bTB dynamics, improving surveillance and guiding management to prevent further ERA expansion.
Bovine tuberculosis; Genotype; Elevated-risk areas; Transitional areas; Herd risk factors
Epidemics: Volume 24
|Publication date online||01/03/2018|
|Date accepted by journal||20/02/2018|