Hi Noel, yip, sad case indeed. Tx for the compliment, O
I'm afraid I don't have any good news for you (please note that both sources are not very recent): Assessing vaccination as a control strategy in an ongoing
epidemic: Bovine tuberculosis in African buffalo (2006)
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is an exotic disease invading the buffalo population (Syncerus caffer) of the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa.We used a sex and age-structured epidemiological model to assess the effectiveness of a vaccination program and define important
research directions. The model allows for dispersal between a focal herd and background population and was parameterized with a combination of published data and analyses of over 130 radio-collared buffalo in the central region of the KNP. Radio-tracking data indicated that all sex and age categories move between mixed herds, and males over 8 years
old had higher mortality and dispersal rates than any other sex or age category. In part due to the high dispersal rates of buffalo, sensitivity analyses indicate that disease prevalence in the background population accounts for the most variability in the BTB prevalence and
quasi-eradication within the focal herd. Vaccination rate and the transmission coefficient were the second and third most important parameters of the sensitivity analyses. Further analyses of the model without dispersal suggest that the amount of vaccination necessary
for quasi-eradication (i.e. prevalence < 5%) depends upon the duration that a vaccine grants protection. Vaccination programs are more efficient (i.e. fewer wasted doses) when they focus on younger individuals. However, even with a lifelong vaccine and a closed population, the model suggests that >70% of the calf population would have to be vaccinated every year to reduce the prevalence to less than 1%. If the half-life of the vaccine is less than 5 years, even vaccinating every calf for 50 years may not eradicate BTB. Thus, although vaccination provides a means of controlling BTB prevalence it should be combined with other control measures if eradication is the objective.http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/~getz/Repri ... oMod06.pdfLions in South Africa Pressured by TB Outbreak, Hunters
South Africa's free-ranging lion population, an estimated 2,700 animals living mostly in the ecosystem surrounding Kruger National Park in the northeast corner of the country, is among those at risk.
One possible threat is bovine tuberculosis, a disease probably introduced to South Africa through domestic cattle brought in by European settlers at the end of the 18th century.
The disease also afflicts animals in the Serengeti grasslands and woodlands in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. But according to Craig Packer, professor of zoology at the University of Minnesota, TB isn't as important an issue there.
"While it seems that TB is a worse problem in Kruger than elsewhere, it is still not clear that the disease is as devastating as people originally claimed," he said. "While we still have TB in Tanzania, it isn't a problem that we worry much about."
Dewald Keet, the chief veterinarian at Kruger National Park, does worry. He said that bovine tuberculosis is an ever-increasing threat to Kruger lions. But because TB is increasing at a slow rate, people may have the mistaken impression that it has stabilized.
"Nothing is being done to control the disease except research," he said. According to Keet, the prevalence of the disease in lions in the southern half of the park varies between 48 percent and 78 percent.
He explained that lions first contracted the disease when eating infected buffalo carcasses, and the southern region of the park is where TB prevalence is highest in African buffalo. Lions in Kruger are also infecting each other through biting and aerosol transmission, Keet said.
About 25 lions die of TB every year in Kruger, but even more important is the effect of the disease on lion social behavior. Males are weakened by the chronic disease, and this, Keet said, leads to "faster territorial male turnover and consequent infanticide, eviction of entire prides, and a decrease in average longevity." The Future of South African Lions
Although there are some small populations of lions outside of the Kruger ecosystem, they are not self-sustaining, and, according to Keet, they have to be managed with occasional additions and removals....
... Keet worries, though, about the continuing health of the free-ranging population. "Bovine tuberculosis is not a disease that will disappear from the Kruger ecosystem unless radically combated," he said. "And by now it is probably too late." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... _tb_2.html
Whilst conducting research, I've also noted that sea lions can contract BTB.
Let's pray the lions' immune systems develop to fight this plague.
During earlier research I have noted that lions in the south of the KNP are more affected than those in the north. Also, that the cohesion between ruling males in the north is stronger than that in the south, and that might be why less lions in the north are so severely affected by BTB.