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The impact of an African swine fever outbreak on endemic tuberculosis in wild boar populations
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  • Xander O'Neill,
  • Andy White,
  • Francisco Ruiz-Fons,
  • Christian Gortazar
Xander O'Neill
Heriot Watt University
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Andy White
Heriot-Watt University
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Francisco Ruiz-Fons
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Christian Gortazar
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Animal tuberculosis (TB) is a widespread infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) that can persist in reservoir wildlife hosts. Wild boar (sus scrofa) are a key reservoir for MTC and an increasing trend in wild boar density is expected to lead to an increase in TB prevalence with spill-over to livestock. MTC infection is presently controlled through a variety of strategies, including culling. African swine fever (ASF) is a virulent, viral infection which affects wild boar and is spreading across Eurasia and Oceania. ASF infection leads to near 100% mortality at the individual level, can cause a dramatic decrease in population density and may therefore lead to TB control. In this study we develop a mathematical model to examine the impact of ASF introduction into a wild boar population that supports endemic TB. Our model results indicate that an ASF infection will reduce wild boar population density and lead to a decrease in the prevalence of TB. If ASF persists in the local host population the model predicts the long-term decline of TB prevalence in wild boar. If ASF is eradicated, or fades-out in the local host population, the model predicts a slower recovery of TB prevalence in comparison to wild boar density after an ASF epidemic. This may open a window of opportunity to apply TB management to maintain low TB prevalence.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

30 Sep 2020Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
30 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
30 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
07 Oct 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Nov 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
07 Dec 20201st Revision Received
08 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
08 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
09 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
20 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Accept