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Spatial clustering of TB-infected cattle herds prior to and following proactive badger removal

  • G. E. KELLY (a1) and S. J. MORE (a2)

Summary

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is primarily a disease of cattle. In both Ireland and the UK, badgers (Meles meles) are an important wildlife reservoir of infection. This paper examined the hypothesis that TB is spatially correlated in cattle herds, established the range of correlation and the effect, if any, of proactive badger removal on this. We also re-analysed data from the Four Area Project in Ireland, a large-scale intervention study aimed at assessing the effect of proactive badger culling on bovine TB incidence in cattle herds, taking possible spatial correlation into account. We established that infected herds are spatially correlated (the scale of spatial correlation is presented), but at a scale that varies with time and in different areas. Spatial correlation persists following proactive badger removal.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr G. E. Kelly, Room L537, School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. (Email: Gabrielle.kelly@ucd.ie)

References

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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