Research Project Database
Code: EMIDA4
Title: TB Alpine Wildlife – Tuberculosis in Alpine wildlife - Monitoring, diagnostics and potential control strategies of tuberculosis in wild animals in the Alpine provinces of Austria, Germany,
Country: Italy
Funding Organisation: Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany)
Austrian Federal Ministry of Health
Italian Ministry of Health Department for Veterinary Public Health, Nutrition and Food Safety
Animal Group: Wildlife
Pathogen: Mycobacterium spp.
Disease: Tuberculosis
Category: Epidemiology, Risk and Decision Support > Descriptive epidemiology
Epidemiology, Risk and Decision Support > Generic/Fundamental epidemiology and modelling
Research Organisation: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna
Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES)
Technical University Munich
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Venezie
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
LAZBW - Wildforschungsstelle Aulendorf, Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum für Rinderhaltung, Grünlandwirtschaft,Milchwirtschaft, Wild und Fischerei Baden- Württemberg
EMC microcollections GmbH
Bayrisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Gesundheit (StMUG), Referat Tierseuchen
AGES - IVET Innsbruck
Innsbruck Medical University (IMU)
Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority (LGL)
Research Institute for Wildlife Ecology (FIWI Vienna)
Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health, University of Bern (FIWI)
Institute for Veterinary Public Health (IVPH), University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Staatliches Tierärztliches Untersuchungsamt (STUA) Aulendorf -Diagnostikzentrum- Baden Würtemberg
Ministerium für Ländlichen Raum, Ernährung und Verbrauchersc
Number of Research Staff (FTE):  
Principal Investigator (PI): Professor Petra Winter, AGES IVET MOE
Cost (Euros): 1591188
End Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 31-12-2013
Duration (months): 24
Project objectives and deliverables with estimated delivery dates for each deliverable (if possible): There are increasing indications that mycobacteria tuberculosis complex (MtbC) have been important emerging pathogens causing infections in free ranging red deer in the Alpine regions. Possible encroachment with cattle pastured during the summer months poses a great risk to introduce bovine tuberculosis (bTB) into domestic livestock populations. This spillover from the wildlife reservoir raises profound public health concerns. MtbC-isolates found in cattle turned out to be similar to those isolated from red deer. Reliable data about the relevant ecology of free ranging red deer in the Alpine region is still lacking. A clear understanding of the epidemiology of MtbC is essential in order to determine the exact risk for infection and to develop an efficient control strategy for preventing introduction of MtbC into livestock and human populations.
The 4-Country cooperation TBC – Tuberculosis in Alpine wildlife therefore proposes to
analyze the occurrence of bTB among wild animals in the Alpine regions of AT, DE, CH and IT, to determine regional prevalence, to establish the geographical distribution of genotypes and to derive corresponding risk maps. The final goal is to develop novel management and disease control strategies including a cross border information network for all involved target groups. An information and awareness campaign will be arranged to distribute the gathered information to the public itself.
The project will guarantee, that in case of detection of bTB in wildlife in the Alpine region the developed infrastructure will support the public veterinary services to take important remedial actions to avoid the spread of the disease.
In order to achieve these goals the project is divided into four scientific work packages and one longitudinal work package. Work package 1 (WP 1) “Preparation” will develop a harmonized methodology shared across national borders in order to ensure maximal validity and comparability of data including a transnational sample plan. Furthermore novel and valid PCR methods utilizing organ samples in order to reduce time, labour and cost will be developed. In WP 2 “Prevalence” overall and species specific prevalence of bTB in wildlife will be estimated based on the results of the representative number of collected and analyzed samples. WP 3 “Epidemiology” will deal with a thorough risk assessment of MtbC in wildlife. The spatial distribution of the found genotypes as well as corresponding epidemiological analyses together with results obtained from behavioural and ecological wildlife studies will identify high risk areas, demonstrated in geographical risk maps. Out of the derived insights and accumulated data, novel wildlife and farm level management and control strategies will be implemented in WP 4 “Novel strategies and exploitation”.WP 5 encompasses the project organisation and the arrangement of an information and awareness campaign for stakeholders and target groups and the public itself.
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