Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19574
Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Whole Genome Sequencing Reveals Local Transmission Patterns of Mycobacterium bovis in Sympatric Cattle and Badger Populations
Authors: Biek, Roman
O'Hare, Anthony
Wright, David
Mallon, Tom
McCormick, Carl
Orton, Richard
McDowell, Stanley
Trewby, Hannah
Skuce, Robin A
Kao, Rowland R
Contact Email: anthony.ohare@stir.ac.uk
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Biek R, O'Hare A, Wright D, Mallon T, McCormick C, Orton R, McDowell S, Trewby H, Skuce RA & Kao RR (2012) Whole Genome Sequencing Reveals Local Transmission Patterns of Mycobacterium bovis in Sympatric Cattle and Badger Populations, PLoS Pathogens, 8 (11), Art. No.: e1003008.
Abstract: Whole genome sequencing (WGS) technology holds great promise as a tool for the forensic epidemiology of bacterial pathogens. It is likely to be particularly useful for studying the transmission dynamics of an observed epidemic involving a largely unsampled ‘reservoir' host, as for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in British and Irish cattle and badgers. BTB is caused by Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the M. tuberculosis complex that also includes the aetiological agent for human TB. In this study, we identified a spatio-temporally linked group of 26 cattle and 4 badgers infected with the same Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) type of M. bovis. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between sequences identified differences that were consistent with bacterial lineages being persistent on or near farms for several years, despite multiple clear whole herd tests in the interim. Comparing WGS data to mathematical models showed good correlations between genetic divergence and spatial distance, but poor correspondence to the network of cattle movements or within-herd contacts. Badger isolates showed between zero and four SNP differences from the nearest cattle isolate, providing evidence for recent transmissions between the two hosts. This is the first direct genetic evidence of M. bovis persistence on farms over multiple outbreaks with a continued, ongoing interaction with local badgers. However, despite unprecedented resolution, directionality of transmission cannot be inferred at this stage. Despite the often notoriously long timescales between time of infection and time of sampling for TB, our results suggest that WGS data alone can provide insights into TB epidemiology even where detailed contact data are not available, and that more extensive sampling and analysis will allow for quantification of the extent and direction of transmission between cattle and badgers.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19574
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1003008
Rights: © 2012 Biek et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Affiliation: University of Glasgow
Complex Systems
Queen's University Belfast
Agri-food & Biosciences Institute
Agri-food & Biosciences Institute
University of Glasgow
Agri-food & Biosciences Institute
University of Glasgow
Agri-food & Biosciences Institute
University of Glasgow

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