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BRUCELLOSIS: NEW VACCINES AND DIAGNOSTICS, VACCINATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS IN DISEASE INCIDENCE, AND ECONOMICS IN LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE
Federal and state efforts to eradicate brucellosis from domestic cattle populations in the United States have been highly successful. The success can be attributed to a combination of vaccination and effective surveillance followed by elimination of infected cattle or depopulation of entire herds. Currently, the success of the eradication program is threatened by infection of elk and bison with Brucella abortus, the bacterium causing brucellosis, in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho and the potential for the transmission of disease between wildlife and cattle. As recent history would indicate, vaccination of cattle for brucellosis alone is not sufficient to prevent interspecies transmission of the disease. Development of new, improved vaccines for use in cattle as well as the relevant wildlife species and rapid, field deployable, and discriminatory blood tests for the diagnosis of brucellosis are tools that will be needed to continue the fight against brucellosis in the GYA. Realistically, where wildlife and interspecies transmission of disease are involved, it is likely that other measured including effective management strategies will be needed. Informed public policy decisions will also need to be made regarding brucellosis in the GYA. Evaluation of 35 years of data and development of statistical models relevant to the incidence of brucellosis on elk feed grounds will provide for science-based managerial decisions. Additionally, development of relevant economic models of the impact of brucellosis in the GYA will allowed informed decisions regarding public policy.
USDA CRIS Project Information Link: 0218506