TB Host genetics
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Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics

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Tuberculosis Host Genetics

​Research

Wildlife Genetics

» Animal TB

Bovine TB (BTB) affects many species of wildlife, such as buffalo, kudu, lion, leopards, baboons and many more. This is of particular concern in species of ecological and economic importance, such as buffalo and lion. Buffalo maintain and transmit BTB within the population, and lions become infected either through the consumption of infected prey, or during prey capture. Many factors influence the outcome of infection by a pathogen - host genetic factors interact with environmental factors and the genome of the pathogen to determine whether an animal becomes diseased. Identifying the genetic factors influencing BTB infection in susceptible wildlife species could provide targets for drug/vaccine development, as well as provide important information for selective breeding programmes. This will be vital for future management strategies in South African national parks and within the commercial sector.