- 1 Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, PO Box 661, Arusha, Tanzania.
- 2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, PO Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- 3 Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Private Bag, Arusha, Tanzania.
- 4 Department of Veterinary Surgery and Theriogenology, School of Veterinary and Medical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, PO Box 3020, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania.
- 5 Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, PO Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- 6 Southern African Centre for Infectious Diseases Surveillance, Sokoine University of Agriculture, PO Box 3297, Chuo Kikuu Morogoro, Tanzania.
In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tanzania, where wildlife and livestock interaction is intense, greater potential for intra- and interspecies disease transmission is expected. We assessed the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) residing on the valley floor of the crater in the NCA. Apparently healthy animals were randomly selected from herds in nine sites of the Ngorongoro Crater. Syncerus caffer buffalo herds were located using very high-frequency radio-aided rangers positioned in various observation points around the crater in the NCA. A total of 102 African buffalo from 16 herds were immobilized from the ground using a cocktail of 4-10 mg etorphine hydrochloride (M99) and 60-150 mg azaperone tartrate. The M99 was reversed using 10-25 mg diprenorphine hydrochloride depending on age of animals. An interferon gamma assay was performed on harvested plasma samples using sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Of the 102 animals sampled, two (2%) African buffalo tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. These results corroborate those of the skin test done recently in cattle in the NCA. The presence of bovine tuberculosis in livestock and wildlife suggested the possibility of cross-species transmission of the disease, indicating the need for appropriate intervention measures.
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