The rise and fall of tuberculosis in a free-ranging chacma baboon troop in the Kruger National Park

D F Keet, N P Kriek, R G Bengis, D G Grobler, A Michel
2000 Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research  
A single troop of free-ranging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) was found to be infected with tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis. It is assumed that some members of the troop originally became infected when feeding on a tuberculous carcass in the veld or on tuberculous material scavenged at a nearby post mortem facility. Subsequently, apparent aerosol transmission took place while sleeping in an unused room. Oral transmission probably also occurred due to continuous contamination of the
more » ... tamination of the floor of this room and the common, narrow access (a train bridge crossing the Sabi River) to it with faeces and urine. A macroscopic prevalence of 50 % was found and the disease was noted to progress rapidly in infected baboons. A variety of organs had typical tuberculous lesions, of which the spleen, lungs and mesenteric lymph nodes were consistently, grossly affected. Using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis, all but one of the baboon isolates were found to be identical to the most common African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) isolate (genotype 1) in this Park. The opportunistic sleeping facility was made inaccessible to the troop, which was forced to revert to sleeping in trees. A follow-up survey six months after closure, demonstrated that the disease had disappeared from the troop, and that no spillover infection had occurred into neighbouring troops.
pmid:11028747 fatcat:7hbi6ajjufajrp5pbxy3ht4kkq