Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest

Hoffmann, C. et al. (2017) Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest. Nature, 548(7665), pp. 82-86. (doi: 10.1038/nature23309) (PMID:28770842)

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Abstract

Anthrax is a globally important animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, our current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. Here we show that the dynamics of an anthrax-causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest have severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades, we show that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for a broad range of mammalian hosts. We predict that this pathogen will accelerate the decline and possibly result in the extirpation of local chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) populations. We present the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen and show that its presence has important implications for conservation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Biek, Professor Roman
Authors: Hoffmann, C., Zimmermann, F., Biek, R., Kuehl, H., Nowak, K., Mundry, R., Agbor, A., Angedakin, S., Arandjelovic, M., Blankenburg, A., Brazolla, G., Corogenes, K., Couacy-Hymann, E., Deschner, T., Dieguez, P., Dierks, K., Düx, A., Dupke, S., Eshuis, H., Formenty, P., Yuh, Y. G., Goedmakers, A., Gogarten, J. F., Granjon, A.-C., McGraw, S., Grunow, R., Hart, J., Jones, S., Junker, J., Kiang, J., Langergraber, K., Lapuente, J., Lee, K., Leendertz, S. A., Léguillon, F., Leinert, V., Löhrich, T., Marrocoli, S., Mätz-Rensing, K., Meier, A., Merkel, K., Metzger, S., Murai, M., Niedorf, S., De Nys, H., Sachse, A., van Schijndel, J., Thiesen, U., Ton, E., Wu, D., Wieler, L. H., Boesch, C., Klee, S. R., Wittig, R. M., Calvignac-Spencer, S., and Leendertz, F. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Nature
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
ISSN (Online):1476-4687
Published Online:02 August 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
First Published:First published in Nature 548(7665): 82-86
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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