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Vet J. 2003 Jul;166(1):43-51.

Vaccinating badgers (Meles meles) against Mycobacterium bovis: the ecological considerations.

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Wildlife Disease Ecology Team, Central Science Laboratory, York, YO41 1LZ, Sand Hutton, UK.


Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a serious zoonotic disease, which despite a largely successful test and slaughter programme has persisted in cattle herds in parts of the UK. The badger (Meles meles) is widely considered to represent a significant wildlife reservoir for the transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to cattle, and has been the subject of a variety of culling strategies since the mid 1970s. Nevertheless, the incidence of herd breakdowns has continued to rise, and the efficacy of culling is currently the subject of a large-scale field trial. One potential alternative tool for the management of disease in wildlife populations is vaccination. However, the successful development of an effective vaccine and a strategy for its delivery will require careful consideration of the practical constraints imposed by ecological factors. In the current paper, we discuss relevant ecological and epidemiological characteristics of badger populations and practical aspects of vaccine delivery in the field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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