Smith, L., Marion, G., Swain, D.L., White, P.C.L. and Hutchings, M.R.
Epidemiology and Infection 137, 630-643.
stochastic agent based model livestock systems wildlife faecal oral route disease transmission disease risk
||Livestock herbivores are at risk of inter- and intra-specific exposure to parasites/pathogens via
the faecal-oral route during grazing. Each contact between livestock and faeces in the
environment is a potential parasite/pathogen transmission event. Cattle grazing contact with
faeces varies in relation to the species depositing the faeces and the distribution of the faeces.
We used a foraging model to simulate the grazing behaviour of beef cattle in two grazing systems
to compare the relative inter-specific and intra-specific exposure risks to parasites/pathogens.
Overall, there is a greater level of intra- vs. inter-specific risk via the faecal-oral route. However,
under certain conditions, particularly for microparasite infections, e.g. paratuberculosis in rabbits
and bovine tuberculosis in badgers, wildlife may pose a significant exposure risk to parasites/
pathogens. These risks can be enhanced when cattle are first turned out onto pasture and in
situations where intra-specific variations in wildlife behaviour result in more dispersed defecation