Sintayehu Dejene studies the role of interactions with wildlife on the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in livestock in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Coexistence of wild and domestic herbivore on eco-epidemiology and transmission of BTB in Ethiopia.
In the last half century, animal disease that can jump from wildlife to livestock received a significant attention because of the increase in Emergence of Infectious Diseases (EIDs) in humans, wildlife and domestic species. Zoonoses constitute 60% of human EIDs of which 72% originated in a wildlife source, and most of these require an intermediate animal host. Zoonotic diseases are an important cause of concern for farmers, public health workers, veterinary services and conservationists. Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is one of the zoonoses of worldwide importance. Transmission of bovine tuberculosis among wildlife and livestock has created important risks for people and livestock. BTB remains prevalent in Sub-Saharan African countries. In Africa, cattle are considered to be the main hosts of M. bovis. However, other mammalian species are susceptible to various degrees to BTB. Transmission of BTB from infected wildlife to livestock is mainly aerogenic, where infected wildlife comes into close contact with livestock. Indirect contact, through contact with, or ingestion of, feed contaminated with the urine or faeces of an infected wild animal is also a risk factor for the transmission of BTB. In Africa, the evidence generally suggests that BTB has a wide distribution with a high prevalence in both wild and domestic animals, perhaps because the wildlife-livestock interactions are multiple and intense. Understanding the source of infection and factors that increase the prevalence of BTB will help us to prevent the spread of these diseases among wild and domestic animals and humans. However, studies investigating the role of livestock and wildlife species often only involved single species analysis and neglected the effects of multiple hosts and community structure on the transmission of BTB. Therefore, the aim of this PhD project is to generate information on the role of livestock and wildlife interactions on the prevalence of BTB in livestock and identify the important risk factors for BTB.