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Title

Tuberculosis epidemiology in islands: insularity, hosts and trade

AuthorsAcevedo, Pelayo ; Romero, Beatriz; Vicente, Joaquín ; Caracappa, Santo; Torina, Alessandra; Casal, Carmen; Fuente, José de la ; Gortázar, Christian
Issue Date2013
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 8(7): e71074 (2013)
AbstractBecause of their relative simplicity and the barriers to gene flow, islands are ideal systems to study the distribution of biodiversity. However, the knowledge that can be extracted from this peculiar ecosystem regarding epidemiology of economically relevant diseases has not been widely addressed. We used information available in the scientific literature for 10 old world islands or archipelagos and original data on Sicily to gain new insights into the epidemiology of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). We explored three nonexclusive working hypotheses on the processes modulating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) herd prevalence in cattle and MTC strain diversity: insularity, hosts and trade. Results suggest that bTB herd prevalence was positively correlated with island size, the presence of wild hosts, and the number of imported cattle, but neither with isolation nor with cattle density. MTC strain diversity was positively related with cattle bTB prevalence, presence of wild hosts and the number of imported cattle, but not with island size, isolation, and cattle density. The three most common spoligotype patterns coincided between Sicily and mainland Italy. However in Sicily, these common patterns showed a clearer dominance than on the Italian mainland, and seven of 19 patterns (37%) found in Sicily had not been reported from continental Italy. Strain patterns were not spatially clustered in Sicily. We were able to infer several aspects of MTC epidemiology and control in islands and thus in fragmented host and pathogen populations. Our results point out the relevance of the intensity of the cattle commercial networks in the epidemiology of MTC, and suggest that eradication will prove more difficult with increasing size of the island and its environmental complexity, mainly in terms of the diversity of suitable domestic and wild MTC hosts.
DescriptionThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.-- et al.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071074
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/142977
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0071074
Identifiersdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071074
issn: 1932-6203
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