"Bovine Tuberculosis in the African Buffalo:
The Role of Population Models"
Wayne M. Getz, Paul C. Cross, Anna E. Jolles, James O. Lloyd-Smith,
Sadie J. Ryan, Peter W. J. Baxter, Justine Bowers, Craig T.
Hay, Christiane Knechtel, Craig J. Tambling, Wendy C. Turner
and J. T. du Toit
The spread of bovine tuberculosis (M. bovis, also BTB) in
wild populations of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) can
be modeled at various levels of complexity, including components,
that inter alia deal with: basic and refined demographic
and epidemiological processes; behavior as it relates to
herd organization and the movement patterns of individuals
among herds; ecological factors that focus on buffalo-vegetation,
buffalo-lion, and buffalo-other grazer interactions; environmental
effects, particularly the influence of rainfall and the distribution
of water; BTB reservoirs in other species, as well as BTB
transmission between buffalo and other species, including
domestic cattle and humans; and finally, the effects of various
management actions in controlling BTB in natural populations.
To avoid getting embroiled in details, models should only
contain sufficient complexity to answer the question at hand.
Here we evaluate the form and utility of various modeling
components in addressing different kinds of basic and applied
questions regarding the spread of BTB in populations typified
by herds in the Kruger National Park, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi
Provincial Game Park, and the Klaserie Private Game Reserve,
all in South Africa.