The impact of an African swine fever outbreak on endemic tuberculosis in wild boar populations: a model analysis

Xander O'Neill, Andrew White, Francisco Ruiz-Fons, Christian Gortázar

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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A mathematical model is developed and analysed to examine the impacts of African swine fever (ASF) introduction into a wild boar population that supports endemic animal tuberculosis (TB). TB is a widespread infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) that can persist in reservoir wildlife hosts. Wild boar (sus scrofa) are a key reservoir for MTC, and an increasing trend in wild boar density is expected to lead to an increase in TB prevalence with spill‐over to livestock. MTC infection is presently controlled through a variety of strategies, including culling. African swine fever (ASF) is a virulent, viral infection which affects wild boar and is spreading across Eurasia and Oceania. ASF infection leads to near 100% mortality at the individual level, can cause a dramatic decrease in population density and may therefore lead to TB control. We extend an established model that captures the key demographic and infection processes for TB in wild boar to consider the impact of ASF introduction on wild boar populations that support different levels of endemic TB. Our model results indicate that an ASF infection will reduce wild boar population density and lead to a decrease in the prevalence of TB. If ASF persists in the local host population the model predicts the long‐term decline of TB prevalence in wild boar. If ASF is eradicated, or fades‐out in the local host population, the model predicts a slower recovery of TB prevalence in comparison to wild boar density after an ASF epidemic. This may open a window of opportunity to apply TB management to maintain low TB prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2750-2760
Number of pages11
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number5
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • co-infection
  • disease control
  • multiple pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary


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