About this Research Topic
In recent decades contacts between wildlife livestock and humans have increased as a result of a human population growth encroaching into natural territories. Consequently, the need for additional sources of protein and competition for limited habitats and resources increased, and is expected to rise in the years to come. These global changes enhance contacts between wildlife and domestic animals and are likely to become increasingly common, facilitating the circulation of shared pathogens that can induce direct losses to the livestock sector through increased mortality and reduced productivity, control costs, loss of trade, and food insecurity. This is the case for instance of Foot and Mouth Disease or African swine fever in Africa which emerge as a result of contacts between wild and domestic hosts at the edge of protected areas. In other occasions, the presence of a wildlife reservoir can seriously complicate control eradication efforts of certain livestock pathogens as it occured with brucellosis or classical swine fever in several developed countries. Last but not least, the introduction of new pathogens into naïve wildlife populations may have a direct impact on the dynamics and conservation of some species, such as the introduction of chronic wasting disease in America deer species. In addition, some pathogens might represent a potential burden to the whole ecosystem, affecting biodiversity, changing human or animal behavior or the composition of animal populations. This is for instance the case of bovine tuberculosis being introduced from infected livestock in an African savannah ecosystem such as the Kruger National Park.
Interfaces between different host communities represent critical points for cross-species disease transmission and emergence of pathogens that are complex and difficult to monitor and require innovative tools and methods. However, if accurately assessed, they can result in instrumental epidemiological information for understanding the dynamics occurring along those multi-host systems, and for coordinating actions to improve disease control and management.
The goal of this Research Topic is to provide a collection of examples illustrating the diversity of tools and methodologies applied in the study and analysis of disease dynamics at the wildlife livestock interface, presenting different disease cases studies in a variety of geographical areas. We welcome submissions that describe novel approaches applied to fulfill knowledge gaps in the epidemiology of pathogens and diseases shared between wildlife and livestock populations in order to improve their control. Those might include but are not limited to:
• Methods implemented to improve the knowledge on pathogen transmission, disease dynamics and host contacts at the wildlife/livestock interface such as field questionnaires and surveys, camera trapping, radio-telemetry with data loggers, drone imagery, molecular epidemiology, social network analysis and disease modelling.
• Approaches applied to prevent or reduce disease burden or pathogen transmission in the context of animal populations at the wildlife livestock interface such as physical barriers, vaccination, management or utilization of wildlife populations, or social practices among stakeholder communities.
• Methods aiming at improving surveillance and monitoring of diseases at the wildlife /livestock interface such as validation of diagnostic tests in wildlife species, development of new diagnostic techniques that facilitate monitoring of disease presence or host-pathogen or vector interactions.
• Novel case studies of wildlife management or utilization describing situations or contexts that facilitate wildlife/livestock interactions and disease transmission are also welcome.
Contributions will be selected based on the novelty and trans-disciplinary and trans-sectorial nature of the approach used to collect or analyze data, the importance of the wildlife-livestock interface on the epidemiological dynamics of the disease, the potential impact of the disease from the economic and public health perspective and the relevance for the region in which the study has been conducted.
Keywords: wildlife, control, infection, transmission, dynamic
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.