Progenitor strain introduction of Mycobacterium bovis at the wildlife-livestock interface can lead to clonal expansion of the disease in a single ecosystem
Dippenaar, Anzaan; Parsons, Sven David Charles; Miller, Michele Ann; Hlokwe, Tiny; Gey van Pittius, Nicolaas Claudius; Adroub, Sabir Abdu; Abdallah, Abdallah Musa; Pain, Arnab; Warren, Robin Mark; Michel, Anita Luise; Van Helden, Paul David
Mycobacterium bovis infects multiple wildlife species and domesticated cattle across South Africa, and negatively impacts on livestock trade and movement of wildlife for conservation purposes. M. bovis infection was first reported in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa during the 1990s, and has since spread to infect numerous animal host species throughout the park and across South Africa. Whole genome sequencing data of 17 M. bovis isolates were analyzed to investigate the genomic diversity among M. bovis isolates causing disease in different animal host species from various locations in South Africa. M. bovis strains analyzed in this study are geographic rather than host species-specific. The clonal expansion of M. bovis in the KNP highlights the effect of an introduction of a transmissible infectious disease leading to a rising epidemic in wildlife, and emphasizes the importance of disease control and movement restriction of species that serve as disease reservoirs. In conclusion, the point source introduction of a single M. bovis strain type in the KNP ecosystem lead to an M. bovis outbreak in this area that affects various host species and poses an infection risk in neighboring rural communities where HIV prevalence is high.
Supplementary data: Supplemental Methods; Supplemental Data 1, Table S1; Supplemental Data 2, Table S2