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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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
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lembo, Dr Tiziana and Auty, Harriet and Hampson, Professor Katie and Halliday, Dr Jo and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah
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 > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Emerging Infectious Diseases
ISSN (Online):1080-6059

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