Transmission of Brucellosis from Elk to Cattle and Bison, Greater Yellowstone Area, USA, 2002–2012 - Vol. 19 No. 12 - December 2013 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
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Volume 19, Number 12—December 2013
Transmission of Brucellosis from Elk to Cattle and Bison, Greater Yellowstone Area, USA, 2002–2012
AbstractBovine brucellosis has been nearly eliminated from livestock in the United States. Bison and elk in the Greater Yellowstone Area remain reservoirs for the disease. During 1990–2002, no known cases occurred in Greater Yellowstone Area livestock. Since then, 17 transmission events from wildlife to livestock have been investigated.
In 1992, a court case highlighted the potential for transmission of brucellosis from free-ranging wildlife to livestock in the GYA. The litigation concerned brucellosis transmission purportedly from elk or bison to 2 cattle herds in 1988 and 1989 (5). Before those incidents and since ≈1961, brucellosis had been detected in 4 GYA cattle herds, and transmission was attributed to a wildlife source on the basis of epidemiologic investigations (6). From 1990 through 2001, no brucellosis was found in any GYA livestock despite intensive surveillance in some areas, precipitated by court action. We report a series of recent cases in which brucellosis was transmitted from free-ranging elk to domestic cattle or ranched bison as determined by epidemiologic and microbiological investigations.