Serologic surveillance of anthrax in the Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania, 1996–2009

Lembo, T. et al. (2011) Serologic surveillance of anthrax in the Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania, 1996–2009. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17(3), pp. 387-394. (doi:10.3201/eid1703.101290)

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Abstract

Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is responsible for varying death rates among animal species. Difficulties in case detection, hazardous or inaccessible carcasses, and misdiagnosis hinder surveillance. Using case reports and a new serologic assay that enables multispecies comparisons, we examined exposure to and illness caused by B. anthracis in different species in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania during 1996-2009 and the utility of serosurveillance. High seroprevalence among carnivores suggested regular nonfatal exposure. Seropositive wildebeest and buffalo showed that infection was not invariably fatal among herbivores, whereas absence of seropositivity in zebras and frequent detection of fatal cases indicated high susceptibility. Exposure patterns in dogs reflected known patterns of endemicity and provided new information about anthrax in the ecosystem, which indicated the potential of dogs as indicator species. Serosurveillance is a valuable tool for monitoring and detecting anthrax and may shed light on mechanisms responsible for species-specific variability in exposure, susceptibility, and mortality rates

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lembo, Dr Tiziana and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Auty, Harriet and Hampson, Dr Katie and Halliday, Dr Joanna
Authors: Lembo, T., Hampson, K., Auty, H., Beesley, C.A., Bessell, P., Halliday, J., Fyumagwa, R., Hoare, R., Ernest, E., Mentzel, C., Mlengeya, T., Stamey, K., Wilkins, P.P., and Cleaveland, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Emerging Infectious Diseases
ISSN:1080-6040
ISSN (Online):1080-6059

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