Document Detail

Effects of management and climate on elk brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17555209     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Every winter, government agencies feed approximately 6000 metric tons (6 x 10(6) kg) of hay to elk in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to limit transmission of Brucella abortus, the causative agent of brucellosis, from elk to cattle. Supplemental feeding, however, is likely to increase the transmission of brucellosis in elk, and may be affected by climatic factors, such as snowpack. We assessed these possibilities using snowpack and feeding data from 1952 to 2006 and disease testing data from 1993 to 2006. Brucellosis seroprevalence was strongly correlated with the timing of the feeding season. Longer feeding seasons were associated with higher seroprevalence, but elk population size and density had only minor effects. In other words, the duration of host aggregation and whether it coincided with peak transmission periods was more important than just the host population size. Accurate modeling of disease transmission depends upon incorporating information on how host contact rates fluctuate over time relative to peak transmission periods. We also found that supplemental feeding seasons lasted longer during years with deeper snowpack. Therefore, milder winters and/or management strategies that reduce the length of the feeding season may reduce the seroprevalence of brucellosis in the elk populations of the southern GYE.
Paul C Cross; William H Edwards; Brandon M Scurlock; Eric J Maichak; Jared D Rogerson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1051-0761     ISO Abbreviation:  Ecol Appl     Publication Date:  2007 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-06-08     Completed Date:  2007-07-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9889808     Medline TA:  Ecol Appl     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  957-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Brucellosis / therapy*,  transmission
Seroepidemiologic Studies

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