Mapping bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain using environmental data
Wint GR., Robinson TP., Bourn DM., Durr PA., Hay SI., Randolph SE., Rogers DJ.
The incidence of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is increasing in Great Britain, exacerbated by the temporary suspension of herd testing in 2001 for fear of spreading the much more contagious foot and mouth disease. The transmission pathways of BTB remain poorly understood. Current hypotheses suggest the disease is introduced into susceptible herds from a wildlife reservoir (principally the Eurasian Badger) and/or from cattle purchased from infected areas, while the role of climatic factors in transmission has generally been ignored. Here, we show how remotely sensed satellite data, which provide good indicators of a variety of climatic factors, can be used to describe the distribution of BTB in Great Britain in 1997, and suggest how such data could be used to produce BTB risk maps for the future.