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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:55 am 
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francoisd wrote:
The test shown on the 50/50 program is called the tuberculin test and more specific the caudal-fold tuberculin test. This test is routinely use to test cattle for TB and the procedure is basically the same for TB testing used for humans and other animals. Dr Keet just applied an existing test to testing lions for TB.


My apologies, :oops:
I could be wrong, but I am sure I saw on a episode on Animal Planet that he devised it. Shows you, don't believe what you see on TV, rather read books ;-)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:11 am 
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Was this crisis created by humans or is it a natural occurrence? :?


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:14 am 
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No GP it is introduced by humans. Domestic cattle brought in from Europe were carriers of the disease

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:45 am 
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No GP it is introduced by humans. Domestic cattle brought in from Europe were carriers of the disease

Well, tuberculosis is endemic in nearly every part of the world and spreads easily to all warm blooded animals including humans, so the main problem is probably the close vincinity of infected livestock/wild animals and humans. The microorganism itself is around much longer than humans and infectious diseases have caused and still do cause losses of live in humans and animals everywhere. With some clever ideas we may win some battles, but infectious agents nearly always get one step ahead. Sad but true.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:06 pm 
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I found these quite interesting:

Definition of Bovine Tuberculosis

More Bov TB info Scroll down a bit to after the elephant insert

FAQ on Bov TB

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:48 am 
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Buffalo are carriers of many diseases life foot and mouth, corridoor fever (Theileriosis) and susceptible to BTB and brucellosis or contagious abortion.

With Foot&mouth the disease increases normal salivation of the buffalo's and they leave behind contagious infected dribbles across the plains and primarily at waterholes, where other animals of the cloven hoof type pick it up. (I understand that this is about BTB but this is abit of background im getting to my 0.02c soon)

Buffalo arent born carrying any disease, during the first month or so of existance calves are completely free of the disease, actually obtaining immunity (carrier status immunity) and antibodies from their mothers milk.

It WAS found that if calves are removed from parents and reared in isolation of wild 'dirty' buffalo then disease-free adults could be obtained. (Collustrum from a TB free Buffalo cow can be given to calves for immunity for the first 48hours and a Jersey cow can be surrogated thereafter)

This is however costly but feesable as most buffalo calves are born in february/march. Which makes them easy to 'harvest'. once they become adults they can start a breeding stock. The problem is you would have to eliminate every single wild buffalo in the area would have to be eliminated. This would ideally be done on a sanctuary by sanctuary basis and managed for maximum production to restock 'emptied' reserves.

In the mid-70's it was initiated in former Rhodesia but with the escalation of the Rhodesia Bush War it was never followed through. Addo National park was found to be disease free and the buffalo within were in great demant from newly created national parks and game farms (pilansberg in the early 80's)

This Pilansberg addo 'disease free' breading stock bred well and was used to restock neighbouring parks.

Removal of the entire wild population of buffalo in kruger (27 000) is a logistic and public relations nightmare, not to mention buffalo arent the only vectors within the park.

So yes there is a disease free breading program and its going along well bwana but its relevance to kruger will be negligible due to the sheer numbers.

The 54 disease free buffalo put in Graspan Nature Reserve from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park seven years ago contributed 13 of their offspring to Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park late last year. Ithala Game reserve has a disease free breeding program along with Vaalbos (Sanparks I think) There was a program started in Skakuza for regular injections of healthy buffalo but im not sure about its progress.

I was worried about genetic bottlenecking but a thought back to the 18 European starlings brought by our shakespear loving homesick cecil rhodes reminded me that its not so much the number of the initial founders its the size of the eventual population which ensures genetic variation. (natural mutations have shown a comparible genetic variation in european populations, suprising I know...)

literature cited
African Sporting Gazette Volume 10 issue 4 Ron Thomson 'managing the african buffalo' Future Publishing 2005

http://bigfive.jl.co.za/pdf_files/buffalo%20protocol%202%202002.pdf


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:42 pm 
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Badger TB vaccine trial launched

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Researchers say the number of Bovine TB cases is rising
The government is to launch a trial to test whether vaccinating badgers against tuberculosis can prevent the spread of the disease in cattle.

And maybe the technique can be reused if it works....

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 Post subject: TB infection in lions
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:29 pm 
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Am a regular visitor to Kruger, and would really appreciate some more info regarding the deteriorating situation regarding tuberculosis infection in the lions. I believe that although it was initially contained to the lions in the south of the park, it is now spreading up north and is a very worrying situation as they are slowly but surely dying! Is there no innoculation or cure available? I understand that the buffalo are the carriers - do any other buck/zebras carry it too? Why don't they become sick, and are the other cat eg. leopards and cheetahs at risk, and if not, why? Is there a plan of action? We noticed on our last visit at the end of June that a lot of the lions in the Lower Sabie area had tracking collars - is this to keep track of them re. TB? We spotted a very miserable male lion - thin and looking extremely sick (on the road to Skukuza) - horrible to see..... Could Kruger post an article regarding TB and the lions? Would appreciate it very much!


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 Post subject: Lions & TB
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Hi Everyone,
Is it just me or do a lot of the lions in the southern region look in horrible conditions do to Tuberculosis ?? :cry: On my last 3 trips to Kruger, a lot of the lions looked thin and had horrible cuts and their bodies looked weak and full of sores :(
The last ranger I spoke to in Kruger was quite bleak about the TB situation in the park. However, 3 weeks ago I came across a pride of 8 on the S114 near and they looked superb and very fit and healthy. :D Any comments ???

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:26 pm 
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This article is on the National Geographic site and has a quote from Dewald Keet about lions and TB in Kruger.
Article
It then goes on to discuss "Canned" hunting.

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 Post subject: Lions of southern KNP and TB
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:41 am 
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Saw this program on Animal Planet last night about the southern lions of the KNP and the TB problem. Does anyone know anything more about this topic, as this was very upsetting to hear that there is currently no cure for this, but almost 90% of the southern KNP lions are infected with TB that they get from the buffalo. What does this mean to the beautiful prides in the southern part of KNP, and will they all disappear eventually or what? Can't something be done to the buffalo to stop the spread of this disease to the lions? What is currently being done about this problem? It was very sad last night to see how a big beautiful male lion dies in a water trough because he sat in the water to try and get his fever down. :cry:

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 Post subject: From a medical perspective
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:32 am 
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Unfortunately this a very big problem Suzz. I have personally seen a dying lion in the road between Lower Sabie and Croc Bridge. It’s a sad situation. The problem lies with the buffalo (Bovine TB.) It’s definitely worse in the South. The lions that I have seen recently in the North just seem a tad more healthy.

I’m in the human medical field and I encounter TB on a daily basis. Unfortunately TB thrives as an often asymptomatic infection for many years, even in humans (although bovine TB is no longer a huge problem in humans.)

Thousands of buffalo may therefore be asymptomatic carriers of bTB; the lions feed on their flesh and contract it and spread it to the other members of the pride; similar to TB in humans, close contacts contract this disease over time. It is a low grade infection for years.
One only has to look at the huge problem that the human race has with TB to realise that it is a hardy, stubborn disease that cannot be eradicated easily with one wonder drug (yet, fingers crossed.)
Bovine TB is not the same as TB in humans but I thought I’d just use humans as an example.

Today, we use a vaccine at birth in humans; it doesn’t work exceptionally well.
Vaccine research into BTB is ongoing. TB is treatable but difficult to cure. To solve the problem one has to go to the buffalos and antelope.
TB-free buffalo projects also a buzz word in modern conservation, an alternative to culling perhaps – we will see. All that I can say is that the human race thought that it’d just about eradicated TB- today it is rife and BTB is just as difficult to eradicate amongst animals.
Cheers,
Wildman


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:03 pm 
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There was again something on the news about it tonight. From sabcnews.com:
Quote:
Buffalo population threatened by bovine TB
September 12, 2006, 18:45

A foreign disease which entered through the south of the Kruger National Park in 1960, bovine tuberculosis, has now spread all over the park. Blood samples taken from buffalo right up to the Limpopo River have confirmed this. Initially only buffalo were infected, but now other animals, including lions and leopards are also affected.

It is believed that the bovine TB was introduced to the Kruger Park following contact between domestic cattle and buffalo. The disease spread gradually, and in 2003 it was thought it would take 30 years to reach the north - but now three years later, its already spread.

There is no vaccine or treatment for bovine TB. Infected animals waste away and eventually die years later. The disease has now spread to lions, leopards, hyenas, warthog, kudu, bushbuck and impala. It's also threatening the Trans-frontier park which is being developed by South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Peter Buzz, a Sanparks veterinary surgeon, says: “At the moment it's difficult for us to do anything specifically in terms of getting rid of the TB. It's unlikely at this stage that we will ever be able to do that. The main reason for the survey is really to monitor the disease and its development so we can understand it a lot better and to try and determine what risk it poses, particularly to our neighbouring countries.”

There are now 33 000 buffalo in the Kruger Park –a figure that has doubled after the drought in 1992-1993. But now the spread of bovine TB is threatening the herds again.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:44 am 
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That's really awful Reinette as the Kruger Buff are true African "Matetsi" type Buffalo which just look more like African Buffalo than say Addo "Disease Free- Small horned" version.. I know they are the same species like lion but its the same as the same species Kalahari Lion looking much nicer than the 'average" Kruger version. We cant afford to loose Kruger buff

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:25 am 
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Luckily disease free calves raised with Jersey cows, has created a viable population of the Kruger gene pool in the old Vaalbos. This herd is (I stand to be corrected) already more than 250 strong.

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