The pattern of anthrax at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in Zimbabwe

Mukarati Norman L., Matope Gift, De Garine-Wichatitsky Michel, Ndhlovu Daud N., Caron Alexandre, Pfukenyi Davies Mubika. 2020. The pattern of anthrax at the wildlife-livestock-human interface in Zimbabwe. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 14 (10):e0008800, 20 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
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Abstract : Anthrax is an important but neglected zoonosis in southern Africa and elsewhere which occurs naturally in herbivorous wildlife and livestock. Fatal outbreaks in animals are spaced by potentially extended periods of non-activity during which the bacterium is maintained in soil. The ecology of the pathogen in the multi-host system and the environment is still not fully understood. This study investigated the patterns of anthrax in Zimbabwe in order to better understand the occurrence of disease in susceptible wildlife and livestock and hence its control. The study used available data in governmental reports between 1995 and 2018 and structured interviewer-administered questionnaires of local communities in three porous wildlife-livestock-human interface sites where livestock/wildlife interactions were documented from previous researches. Two non-interface sites were also included for comparison based on known previous anthrax outbreaks. Respondents from non-interface sites had significantly higher odds (χ2 = 23.2, OR = 3.5, 2.1<OR<5.8, p<0.001) of reporting anthrax outbreaks than their counterparts at the interface. Overall 20.0% (74/372) of the respondents reported that some anthrax carcasses were left to dissipate into the environment indicating a risk of environmental contamination. In livestock a total of 214 outbreaks with 2911 losses (mainly cattle) were recorded between 2000 and 2018, while 10 outbreaks with 3171 deaths were noted in wildlife. In humans 99 outbreaks were recorded involving 903 individual cases with 16 fatalities due to enteric infections following the consumption of infected meat between 2010 and 2018. Since its first incidence in wildlife in 2004–2005 in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe, anthrax appears to be establishing endemic status along the Zambezi River basin. The disease has expanded spatially affecting 45 (72.6%) of the country's 62 rural districts in a single decade. Thus, robust multi-disciplinary efforts are encouraged for surveillance and disease containment measures to minimize its impact on livestock, wildlife and humans.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Fièvre charbonneuse, zoonose, Transmission des maladies, Faune, Bétail, Surveillance épidémiologique, relation homme-faune

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Zimbabwe

Mots-clés libres : Anthrax, Wildlife, Livestock, Zoonoses, Zimbabwe, Veterinary diseases, Epidemiology, Disease surveillance, Child health

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases
L70 - Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Mukarati Norman L., University of Zimbabwe (ZWE) - auteur correspondant
  • Matope Gift, University of Zimbabwe (ZWE)
  • De Garine-Wichatitsky Michel, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (THA) ORCID: 0000-0002-5438-1473
  • Ndhlovu Daud N., University of Zimbabwe (ZWE)
  • Caron Alexandre, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (MOZ) ORCID: 0000-0002-5213-3273
  • Pfukenyi Davies Mubika, University of Zimbabwe (ZWE)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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