Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Genomic analysis of an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in a man-made multi-host species system: a call for action on wildlife in Brazil.

Abstract

We report on a 15-year-long outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in wildlife from a Brazilian safari park. A timeline of diagnostic events and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 21 Mycobacterium bovis isolates from deer and llamas were analyzed. Accordingly, from 2003 to 2018, at least 16 animals, from eight species, died due to TB, which is likely an underestimated number. In three occasions since 2013, the deer presented positive tuberculin tests, leading to the park closure and culling of all deer. WGS indicated that multiple M. bovis strains were circulating, with at least three founding introductions since the park inauguration in 1977. Using a previously sequenced dataset of 71 M. bovis genomes from cattle, we found no recent transmission events between nearby farms and the park based on WGS. Lastly, by discussing socio-economic and environmental factors escaping current regulatory gaps that were determinant of this outbreak, we pledge for the development of a plan to report and control bTB in wildlife in Brazil.