A 2021 publication by the Animal TB Research Group, along with Kruger wildlife and state veterinary staff, described two young male elephants having an infection with Mycobacterium bovis (bacterium causing Bovine TB), despite dying of other causes. The report was published in the CDC’s scientific journal called, ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’ and this finding was deemed to be significant, because elephants sharing habitats with species that can harbour and maintain bovine TB (e.g. African buffaloes) are more at risk of being infected. This correlates to the findings of a previous study done by Dr. Tanya Kerr, who showed that approximately 6% to 9% of the tested elephants in Kruger had immune responses towards infection with either Mycobacterium bovis or the human strain known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Since human TB has already caused the death of a bull elephant in the park, this discovery confirms the importance of further surveillance and identification of TB strains in elephants. Furthermore, future research would help determine the potential sources of infection and understanding the risks behind this disease.
Bovine TB in Kruger Elephants (2023)
About Kayla Liebenberg
Kayla is a driven and motivated individual who is passionate about wildlife and conservation. She always strives to significantly contribute to the scientific community and throughout her own life. She has worked with renowned researchers in her scientific work, has participated in formal scientific societies, and even presented at conferences, such as the annual Fynbos Forum. At the Ajubatus Foundation, Kayla focuses on broadening our opportunities to collaborate with other organizations, developing products that resonate with our target audience, planning our marketing campaigns, and ensuring that operations go smoothly and reach our targets.