Disease transmission can occur between and within species for diseases with multiple hosts. If these diseases are undesirable, for economic or health reasons, then the relative importance of each type of transmission should be determined. Bovine tuberculosis (Tb) caused by Mycobacterium bovis is one such undesirable disease.
In parts of New Zealand, M. bovis infection is highly prevalent in feral ferret Mustela furo populations, and there is concern they may be acting as a reservoir of infection for domestic livestock, similar to the role played by brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula. We undertook a manipulative large-scale field experiment to test for and quantify interspecific transmission of M. bovis from brushtail possums to feral ferrets, and intraspecific transmission of M. bovis within feral ferret populations.
|Author||Caley, P. and Hone, J.|
|Secondary title||Journal of Applied Ecology|
|Pages||94 - 104|