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Research Article

Comparing Badger (Meles meles) Management Strategies for Reducing Tuberculosis Incidence in Cattle

  • Graham C. Smith mail,

    graham.smith@fera.gsi.gov.uk

    Affiliation: The Food and Environment Research Agency, York, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

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  • Robbie A. McDonald,

    Affiliation: Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, United Kingdom

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  • David Wilkinson

    Affiliation: The Food and Environment Research Agency, York, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

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  • Published: June 27, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039250

Reader Comments (2)

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Badger TB Prevalence

Posted by Blake2pi on 22 Jul 2012 at 16:37 GMT

Very interesting piece however, I have one question. You used a TB prevalence in the badger population of 17% as in line with the RBCT. However, what effect does a higher prevalence of TB in badgers have on these results? I ask because Crawshaw et al., 2008 revealed with an extended post-mortem examination substantially more infection (http://veterinaryrecord.b...).

No competing interests declared.

RE: Badger TB Prevalence

gcsmith replied to Blake2pi on 31 Jul 2012 at 10:58 GMT

You will notice that in the Methods - Sensitivity Analysis section, I refer to the paper by Crawshaw et al. (No. 29). It was their results that prompted the analysis of a higher badger prevalence (variable 23 in the sensitivity analysis) - See Table S7, where the badger prevalence is doubled (100% increase). In Table S8, this change is shown to have no significant effect since the badger to cattle transmission rate needs to be reduced to constrain the cattle herd breakdown rate to a value seen in reality. In Table S9, this parameter change (a doubling of badger prevalence) has no effect on the choice of strategy, since the order of preference does not change, and the actual values only change slightly. This level of change is within that expected of the stochastic model.
Note, however, that we will continue to use a badger prevalence as dictated by the results of live testing, since individuals can only be ascribed to an infected category by such tests until they are dead.

No competing interests declared.