Bovine tuberculosis (BTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, is a disease that was introduced relatively
recently into the Kruger National Park (KNP) lion population. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIVple)
is thought to have been endemic in lions for a much longer time. In humans, co-infection between
Mycobacterium tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus increases disease burden. If BTB were to
reach high levels of prevalence in lions, and if similar worsening effects would exist between FIVple and
BTB as for their human equivalents, this could pose a lion conservation problem. We collected data on
lions in KNP from 1993 to 2008 for spatio-temporal analysis of both FIVple and BTB, and to assess whether
a similar relationship between the two diseases exists in lions.We found thatBTBprevalence in the southwas
higher than in the north (72 versus 19%over the total study period) and increased over time in the northern
part of the KNP (0–41%). No significant spatio-temporal differences were seen for FIVple in the study
period, in agreement with the presumed endemic state of the infection. Both infections affected haematology
and blood chemistry values, FIVple in a more pronounced way than BTB. The effect of co-infection on these
values, however, was always less than additive. Though a large proportion (31%) of the lions was co-infected
with FIVple and M. bovis, there was no evidence for a synergistic relation as in their human counterparts.
Whether this results from different immunopathogeneses remains to be determined.