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Prev Vet Med. 2005 Sep 30;71(1-2):57-70.

Spatial relationship between Mycobacterium bovis strains in cattle and badgers in four areas in Ireland.

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  • 1Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Clinical Research Building, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 2W1. olea@uoguelph.ca


We investigated whether strains (restriction fragment length polymorphism, RFLP-types) of Mycobacterium bovis isolated from badgers and from cattle clustered among and within four areas in Ireland. The spatial scan test and nearest-neighbor analysis were used as the spatial cluster-detection techniques. In addition, for each of the major strains, associations between the distance to badger setts and the "centroid" of the cattle farm were assessed in a logistic model. Overall, between September 1997 and May 2000, 316 and 287 M. bovis samples, from badgers and cattle, respectively, were strain-typed. The distribution of strains in badgers, and separately in cattle, differed among areas. Within each of the four large areas, badgers and cattle tended to have similar strains; this is consistent with the sharing of M. bovis strains within an area. In more detailed within-area analyses, some spatial clusters of M. bovis strains were detected, separately, in both cattle and badgers. Almost half of the infected badger setts with a specific strain were located outside of the "detected" clusters. There was no association between the number of infected badgers with a specific M. bovis strain within 2 or 5 km distances to cattle herds, and the risk of the same strain in cattle. We speculate about the dynamic nature of badger movements, as an explanation for the absence of more clusters of most of the strains of M. bovis isolated from badgers, and its impact on trying to study transmission of M. bovis between cattle and badger.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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