Document details for 'Inter- and intra-specific exposure to parasites and pathogens via the faecal-oral route: a consequence of behaviour in a patchy environment'

Authors Smith, L., Marion, G., Swain, D.L., White, P.C.L. and Hutchings, M.R.
Publication details Epidemiology and Infection 137, 630-643.
Keywords stochastic agent based model livestock systems wildlife faecal oral route disease transmission disease risk
Abstract 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 patterns.
Last updated 2010-03-18
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