Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Wei, Gao; Cox, D R; Bourne, F John; Burke, Terry; Butlin, Roger K; Cheeseman, C L; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Hedges, Simon; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan; Pope, Lisa C
1. In most social animals, the prevalence of directly transmitted pathogens increases in larger groups and at higher population densities. Such patterns are predicted by models of Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles). 2. We investigated the relationship between badger abundance and M. bovis prevalence, using data on 2696 adult badgers in 10 populations sampled at the start of the Randomized Badger Culling Trial. 3. M. bovis prevalence was consistently higher at low badger densities and in small social groups. M. bovis prevalence was also higher among badgers whose genetic profiles suggested that they had immigrated into their assigned social groups. 4. The association between high M. bovis prevalence and small badger group size appeared not to have been caused by previous small-scale culling in study areas, which had been suspended, on average, 5 years before the start of the current study. 5. The observed pattern of prevalence might occur through badgers in smaller groups interacting more frequently with members of neighbouring groups; detailed behavioural data are needed to test this hypothesis. Likewise, longitudinal data are needed to determine whether the size of infected groups might be suppressed by disease-related mortality. 6. Although M. bovis prevalence was lower at high population densities, the absolute number of infected badgers was higher. However, this does not necessarily mean that the risk of M. bovis transmission to cattle is highest at high badger densities, since transmission risk depends on badger behaviour as well as on badger density.
Moreno, B; Bolea, R; Morales, M; Martín-Burriel, I; González, Ch; Badiola, J J
Clinical and pathological studies in European badgers (Meles meles) are limited. Badgers play a significant role in the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in some countries and an accurate diagnosis is needed for this infection. However, the lesions of bovine TB are similar to those associated with other pathogens, making pathological diagnosis difficult. In the present study, Streptococcus halichoeri was isolated from a European badger with pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia and suspected of having tuberculosis. TB and other pathogens able to induce similar lesions were ruled out. Comparative 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing studies showed an identity of 99.51% and 98.28%, respectively, with S. halichoeri. This report represents the third description of this bacterium and the first in an animal species other than the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). It also shows that S. halichoeri can be associated with a pathological process characterized by granulomatous inflammation and resembling tuberculosis.
Murphy, Denise; O'Keeffe, James J; Martin, S Wayne; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A L
As part of ongoing culling operations, European badgers (Meles meles) were captured using stopped restraints in winter (October to December 2005) and summer (May to June 2006) in the Republic of Ireland. A subset of these badgers, those caught during four consecutive nights, was examined postmortem to determine the frequency and severity of physical injuries resulting from capture in the restraints. The skin and the tissues underlying the restraint of 343 badgers were assessed for injury by visual examination. There was an absence of skin damage or only minor skin abrasions in 88% of badgers; an absence of subcutaneous tissue injury or only localized subcutaneous tissue injury in 69%; and an absence of muscle injury or only slight muscle bruising in 99% of badgers. Only 2% of badgers had cuts to the skin and 5.5% had extensive subcutaneous edema, whereas 1.2% had areas of hemorrhage and tearing of the underlying muscle. Our results show that the majority of badgers examined sustained minimal injuries attributable to capture in stopped restraints.
Banks, Malcolm; King, Donald P; Daniells, Clare; Stagg, David A; Gavier-Widen, Dolores
A herpesvirus causing a cytopathic effect was isolated from pulmonary fibroblast cultures established from a European badger (Meles meles). A study was undertaken to classify and to assess some in-vitro growth characteristics of this virus. From a panel of 27 mammalian cell lines, in-vitro replication of the badger herpesvirus (BadHV) was only demonstrated with a mink lung cell line, suggesting a high degree of host specificity. Using PCR with degenerate primers, three independent fragments of the BadHV genome were sequenced. The largest of these fragments comprised a 6.2 kb segment including the DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B genes. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences demonstrated that the BadHV is novel and clearly grouped with members of the Gammaherpesvirinae. In view of the oncogenic and immunosuppressive potential of many related herpesviruses, it is possible that BadHV can impact on existing acute or chronic disease in badgers.
Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A; Carter, S P; Wilson, G J; Smith, G C; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J
The behaviour of certain infected individuals within socially structured populations can have a disproportionately large effect on the spatio-temporal distribution of infection. Endemic infection with Mycobacterium bovis in European badgers (Meles meles) in Great Britain and Ireland is an important source of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Here we quantify the risk of infection in badger cubs in a high-density wild badger population, in relation to the infection status of resident adults. Over a 24-year period, we observed variation in the risk of cub infection, with those born into groups with resident infectious breeding females being over four times as likely to be detected excreting M. bovis than cubs from groups where there was no evidence of infection in adults. We discuss how our findings relate to the persistence of infection at both social group and population level, and the potential implications for disease control strategies.
Corner, Leigh A. L.; Stuart, Lynsey J.; Kelly, David J.; Marples, Nicola M.
The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles) is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination of the reproductive tract of 264 female badgers taken from sites across 20 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The key results show evidence of multiple blastocysts at different stages of development present simultaneously in the same female, supporting the view that superfetation is relatively common in this population of badgers. In addition we present strong evidence that the breeding rate in Irish badgers is limited by failure to conceive, rather than failure at any other stages of the breeding cycle. We show few effects of age on breeding success, suggesting no breeding suppression by adult females in this population. The study sheds new light on this unusual breeding strategy of delayed implantation and superfetation, and highlights a number of significant differences between the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers and those of Great Britain and Swedish populations. PMID:26465324
Corner, Leigh A L; Stuart, Lynsey J; Kelly, David J; Marples, Nicola M
The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles) is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination of the reproductive tract of 264 female badgers taken from sites across 20 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The key results show evidence of multiple blastocysts at different stages of development present simultaneously in the same female, supporting the view that superfetation is relatively common in this population of badgers. In addition we present strong evidence that the breeding rate in Irish badgers is limited by failure to conceive, rather than failure at any other stages of the breeding cycle. We show few effects of age on breeding success, suggesting no breeding suppression by adult females in this population. The study sheds new light on this unusual breeding strategy of delayed implantation and superfetation, and highlights a number of significant differences between the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers and those of Great Britain and Swedish populations.
King, Hayley C; Murphy, Andrew; James, Phillip; Travis, Emma; Porter, David; Sawyer, Jason; Cork, Jennifer; Delahay, Richard J; Gaze, William; Courtenay, Orin; Wellington, Elizabeth M
The incidence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis, in cattle herds in the United Kingdom is increasing, resulting in substantial economic losses. The European badger (Meles meles) is implicated as a wildlife reservoir and is the subject of control measures aimed at reducing the incidence of infection in cattle populations. Understanding the epidemiology of M. bovis in badger populations is essential for directing control interventions and understanding disease spread; however, accurate diagnosis in live animals is challenging and currently uses invasive methods. Here we present a noninvasive diagnostic procedure and sampling regimen using field sampling of latrines and detection of M. bovis with quantitative PCR tests, the results of which strongly correlate with the results of immunoassays in the field at the social group level. This method allows M. bovis infections in badger populations to be monitored without trapping and provides additional information on the quantities of bacterial DNA shed. Therefore, our approach may provide valuable insights into the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in badger populations and inform disease control interventions.
Robertson, Andrew; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J; Kelly, Simon D; Bearhop, Stuart
Individual specialisation has been identified in an increasing number of animal species and populations. However, in some groups, such as terrestrial mammals, it is difficult to disentangle individual niche variation from spatial variation in resource availability. In the present study, we investigate individual variation in the foraging niche of the European badger (Meles meles), a social carnivore that lives in a shared group territory, but forages predominantly alone. Using stable isotope analysis, we distinguish the extent to which foraging variation in badgers is determined by social and spatial constraints and by individual differences within groups. We found a tendency for individual badgers within groups to differ markedly and consistently in their isotope values, suggesting that individuals living with access to the same resources occupied distinctive foraging niches. Although sex had a significant effect on isotope values, substantial variation within groups occurred independently of age and sex. Individual differences were consistent over a period of several months and in some instances were highly consistent across the two years of the study, suggesting long-term individual foraging specialisations. Individual specialisation in foraging may, therefore, persist in populations of territorial species not solely as a result of spatial variation in resources, but also arising from individuals selecting differently from the same available resources. Although the exact cause of this behaviour is unknown, we suggest that specialisation may occur due to learning trade-offs which may limit individual niche widths. However, ecological factors at the group level, such as competition, may also influence the degree of specialisation.
Kelly, David J; Robertson, Andrew; Murphy, Denise; Fitzsimons, Tara; Costello, Eamon; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A L; Marples, Nicola M
Ecologists undertaking stable isotopic analyses of animal diets require trophic enrichment factors (TEFs) for the specific animal tissues that they are studying. Such basic data are available for a small number of species, so values from trophically or phylogenetically similar species are often substituted for missing values. By feeding a controlled diet to captive European badgers (Meles meles) we determined TEFs for carbon and nitrogen in blood serum. TEFs for nitrogen and carbon in blood serum were +3.0 ± 0.4‰ and +0.4 ± 0.1‰ respectively. The TEFs for serum in badgers are notably different from those published for the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). There is currently no data for TEFs in the serum of other mustelid species. Our data show that species sharing similar niches (red fox) do not provide adequate proxy values for TEFs of badgers. Our findings emphasise the importance of having species-specific data when undertaking trophic studies using stable isotope analysis.
Kelly, David J.; Robertson, Andrew; Murphy, Denise; Fitzsimons, Tara; Costello, Eamon; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A. L.; Marples, Nicola M.
Ecologists undertaking stable isotopic analyses of animal diets require trophic enrichment factors (TEFs) for the specific animal tissues that they are studying. Such basic data are available for a small number of species, so values from trophically or phylogenetically similar species are often substituted for missing values. By feeding a controlled diet to captive European badgers (Meles meles) we determined TEFs for carbon and nitrogen in blood serum. TEFs for nitrogen and carbon in blood serum were +3.0±0.4‰ and +0.4±0.1‰ respectively. The TEFs for serum in badgers are notably different from those published for the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). There is currently no data for TEFs in the serum of other mustelid species. Our data show that species sharing similar niches (red fox) do not provide adequate proxy values for TEFs of badgers. Our findings emphasise the importance of having species-specific data when undertaking trophic studies using stable isotope analysis. PMID:23300863
McClune, David W.; Kostka, Berit; Delahay, Richard J.; Montgomery, W. Ian; Marks, Nikki J.; Scantlebury, David M.
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a measure of the minimum energy requirements of an animal at rest, and can give an indication of the costs of somatic maintenance. We measured RMR of free-ranging European badgers (Meles meles) to determine whether differences were related to sex, age and season. Badgers were captured in live-traps and placed individually within a metabolic chamber maintained at 20 ± 1°C. Resting metabolic rate was determined using an open-circuit respirometry system. Season was significantly correlated with RMR, but no effects of age or sex were detected. Summer RMR values were significantly higher than winter values (mass-adjusted mean ± standard error: 2366 ± 70 kJ⋅d−1; 1845 ± 109 kJ⋅d−1, respectively), with the percentage difference being 24.7%. While under the influence of anaesthesia, RMR was estimated to be 25.5% lower than the combined average value before administration, and after recovery from anaesthesia. Resting metabolic rate during the autumn and winter was not significantly different to allometric predictions of basal metabolic rate for mustelid species weighing 1 kg or greater, but badgers measured in the summer had values that were higher than predicted. Results suggest that a seasonal reduction in RMR coincides with apparent reductions in physical activity and body temperature as part of the overwintering strategy (‘winter lethargy’) in badgers. This study contributes to an expanding dataset on the ecophysiology of medium-sized carnivores, and emphasises the importance of considering season when making predictions of metabolic rate. PMID:26352150
McClune, David W; Kostka, Berit; Delahay, Richard J; Montgomery, W Ian; Marks, Nikki J; Scantlebury, David M
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a measure of the minimum energy requirements of an animal at rest, and can give an indication of the costs of somatic maintenance. We measured RMR of free-ranging European badgers (Meles meles) to determine whether differences were related to sex, age and season. Badgers were captured in live-traps and placed individually within a metabolic chamber maintained at 20 ± 1°C. Resting metabolic rate was determined using an open-circuit respirometry system. Season was significantly correlated with RMR, but no effects of age or sex were detected. Summer RMR values were significantly higher than winter values (mass-adjusted mean ± standard error: 2366 ± 70 kJ⋅d(-1); 1845 ± 109 kJ⋅d(-1), respectively), with the percentage difference being 24.7%. While under the influence of anaesthesia, RMR was estimated to be 25.5% lower than the combined average value before administration, and after recovery from anaesthesia. Resting metabolic rate during the autumn and winter was not significantly different to allometric predictions of basal metabolic rate for mustelid species weighing 1 kg or greater, but badgers measured in the summer had values that were higher than predicted. Results suggest that a seasonal reduction in RMR coincides with apparent reductions in physical activity and body temperature as part of the overwintering strategy ('winter lethargy') in badgers. This study contributes to an expanding dataset on the ecophysiology of medium-sized carnivores, and emphasises the importance of considering season when making predictions of metabolic rate.
Kozina, Paulina; Gólcz, Aleksandra; Izdebska, Joanna N
Trichodectes melis is a specific ectoparasite of the European badger Meles meles. Distribution of this chewing louse is little known, although presumably it coincides with the range of its typical host. In Poland, it has been found in only a few stands in the western part of the country. It has recently been observed in the area of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, where 81 specimens of T. melis (48 females, 7 males and 26 nymph forms) were collected from two female European badgers, mainly from the fur of the head area. No symptoms of infestation were observed.
Robinson, Philip A; Corner, Leigh A L; Courcier, Emily A; McNair, Jim; Artois, Marc; Menzies, Fraser D; Abernethy, Darrell A
Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant animal health problem in many parts of the world, and reservoirs of infection in wild animals complicate disease control efforts in farmed livestock, particularly cattle. Badgers (Meles meles) are a significant wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection for cattle in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Vaccination of badgers using an M. bovis strain bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine could potentially be an option in the national TB eradication strategy. Wildlife vaccination has been used successfully for other diseases in wildlife species, and may have a role to play in reducing M. bovis transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface. Research to date has provided evidence that BCG is protective in badgers, and a parenteral badger BCG vaccine has been licensed in the UK. Further research is required to develop effective strategies for vaccine deployment and to determine the effect of badger vaccination on cattle TB incidence.
Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W; Pope, Lisa C; Johnson, Paul J; Burke, Terry
Reproductive skew is a measure of the proportion of individuals of each sex that breed in a group and is a valuable measure for understanding the evolution and maintenance of sociality. Here, we provide the first quantification of reproductive skew within social groups of European badgers Meles meles, throughout an 18-year study in a high-density population. We used 22 microsatellite loci to analyse within-group relatedness and demonstrated that badger groups contained relatives. The average within-group relatedness was high (R = 0.20) and approximately one-third of within-group dyads were more likely to represent first-order kin than unrelated pairs. Adult females within groups had higher pairwise relatedness than adult males, due to the high frequency of extra-group paternities, rather than permanent physical dispersal. Spatial clustering of relatives occurred among neighbouring groups, which we suggest was due to the majority of extra-group paternities being attributable to neighbouring males. Reproductive skew was found among within-group candidate fathers (B = 0.26) and candidate mothers (B = 0.07), but not among breeding individuals; our power to detect skew in the latter was low. We use these results to evaluate reproductive skew models. Although badger society best fits the assumptions of the incomplete-control models, our results were not consistent with their predictions. We suggest that this may be due to female control of paternity, female-female reproductive suppression occurring only in years with high food availability resulting in competition over access to breeding sites, extra-group paternity masking the benefits of natal philopatry, and/or the inconsistent occurrence of hierarchies that are linear when established.
Wragg, Peter N; Strugnell, Benjamin W; Whatmore, Adrian M; Foster, Geoffrey
A 7.5-kg female European badger (Meles meles) was submitted under the United Kingdom Government's Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme to the Thirsk Regional Laboratory of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Postmortem examination revealed a large, poorly encapsulated retropharyngeal abscess full of necrotic debris and pus. Arcanobacterium haemolyticum was isolated from the lymph node and confirmed by phenotypic profiling and 16S ribosomal RNA DNA sequencing. Workers should be aware of the potential for badgers to harbor zoonoses other than those more traditionally associated with the species.
Hill, Sarah C; Murphy, Aisling A; Cotten, Matthew; Palser, Anne L; Benson, Phillip; Lesellier, Sandrine; Gormley, Eamonn; Richomme, Céline; Grierson, Sylvia; Bhuachalla, Deirdre Ni; Chambers, Mark; Kellam, Paul; Boschiroli, María-Laura; Ehlers, Bernhard; Jarvis, Michael A; Pybus, Oliver G
Polyomaviruses infect a diverse range of mammalian and avian hosts, and are associated with a variety of symptoms. However, it is unknown whether the viruses are found in all mammalian families and the evolutionary history of the polyomaviruses is still unclear. Here, we report the discovery of a novel polyomavirus in the European badger (Meles meles), which to our knowledge represents the first polyomavirus to be characterized in the family Mustelidae, and within a European carnivoran. Although the virus was discovered serendipitously in the supernatant of a cell culture inoculated with badger material, we subsequently confirmed its presence in wild badgers. The European badger polyomavirus was tentatively named Meles meles polyomavirus 1 (MmelPyV1). The genome is 5187 bp long and encodes proteins typical of polyomaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses including all known polyomavirus genomes consistently group MmelPyV1 with California sea lion polyomavirus 1 across all regions of the genome. Further evolutionary analyses revealed phylogenetic discordance amongst polyomavirus genome regions, possibly arising from evolutionary rate heterogeneity, and a complex association between polyomavirus phylogeny and host taxonomic groups.
Corner, L A L; Murphy, D; Costello, E; Gormley, E
The eradication of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis infection) from cattle herds may be compromised if infected wildlife species, such as European badgers (Meles meles), share the same environment and contribute to transfer of infection. Options for dealing with tuberculosis in this wild reservoir host are limited by conservation and social concerns, despite a clear implication that infected badgers are involved with the initiation of tuberculosis in cattle herds. Vaccination of badgers against M. bovis, if successfully employed, would directly facilitate the completion of bovine tuberculosis eradication in affected areas. Vaccine trials in captive badgers have established that the M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can induce a protective response that limits the distribution and severity of tuberculosis disease following experimental challenge. The protective effect of the vaccine has been demonstrated when the vaccine was delivered by subcutaneous injection, deposited on mucous membranes, and given orally in a lipid formulation. A large-scale field trial of oral BCG vaccine has been designed to measure the protection generated in wild badgers subjected to natural transmission of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy. These parameters will be estimated by comparing the prevalence of M. bovis infection in vaccinated and nonvaccinated badgers. The results will provide a framework for the development and implementation of a national strategy to eliminate the disease in badger populations and if successful will remove this major impediment to bovine tuberculosis eradication.
Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A; Wilson, G J; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J
Heterogeneity in the progression of disease amongst individual wild animals may impact on both pathogen and host dynamics at the population level, through differential effects on transmission, mortality and reproductive output. The role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a reservoir host for Mycobacterium bovis infection in the UK and Ireland has been the focus of intense research for many years. Here, we investigate life-history correlates of infection in a high-density undisturbed badger population naturally infected with M. bovis. We found no evidence of a significant impact of M. bovis infection on female reproductive activity or success, with evidence of reproduction continuing successfully for several years in the face of M. bovis excretion. We also found evidence to support the hypothesis that female badgers are more resilient to established M. bovis infection than male badgers, with longer survival times following the detection of bacterial excretion. We discuss the importance of infectious breeding females in the persistence of M. bovis in badger populations, and how our findings in male badgers are consistent with testosterone-induced immunosuppression. In addition, we found significant weight loss in badgers with evidence of disseminated infection, based on the culture of M. bovis from body systems other than the respiratory tract. For females, there was a gradual loss of weight as infection progressed, whereas males only experienced substantial weight loss when infection had progressed to the point of dissemination. We discuss how these differences may be explained in terms of resource allocation and physiological trade-offs.
Gern, Lise; Sell, Katy
No data are available on the role of badgers in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Europe. In a recent study describing validation of a molecular method allowing host DNA identification and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detection in Ixodes ricinus, the simultaneous presence of B. afzelii DNA and of European badger (Meles meles) DNA was detected in I. ricinus ticks in Switzerland. This suggested that badgers might be reservoir hosts for B. afzelii. Here, we present results obtained in a study on badgers conducted in 1996-1997. Thirty-one tissue samples (ear biopsy: n = 25, aspiration fluid: n = 6) from 8 badgers were placed in BSK medium to isolate B. burgdorferi sensu lato and were then examined by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP). Globally, six Borrelia isolates (6/31, 19.4%) were obtained from 3/8 (37.5%) badgers. These isolates were identified as B. afzelii (n = 3) and B. valaisiana (n = 3).
Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a central role in the adaptive immune system and provides a good model with which to understand the evolutionary processes underlying functional genes. Trans-species polymorphism and orthology are both commonly found in MHC genes; however, mammalian MHC class I genes tend to cluster by species. Concerted evolution has the potential to homogenize different loci, whereas birth-and-death evolution can lead to the loss of orthologs; both processes result in monophyletic groups within species. Studies investigating the evolution of MHC class I genes have been biased toward a few particular taxa and model species. We present the first study of MHC class I genes in a species from the superfamily Musteloidea. The European badger (Meles meles) exhibits moderate variation in MHC class I sequences when compared to other carnivores. We identified seven putatively functional sequences and nine pseudogenes from genomic (gDNA) and complementary (cDNA) DNA, signifying at least two functional class I loci. We found evidence for separate evolutionary histories of the α1 and α2/α3 domains. In the α1 domain, several sequences from different species were more closely related to each other than to sequences from the same species, resembling orthology or trans-species polymorphism. Balancing selection and probable recombination maintain genetic diversity in the α1 domain, evidenced by the detection of positive selection and a recombination event. By comparison, two recombination breakpoints indicate that the α2/α3 domains have most likely undergone concerted evolution, where recombination has homogenized the α2/α3 domains between genes, leading to species-specific clusters of sequences. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing MHC domains separately. PMID:22957169
Sin, Yung Wa; Annavi, Geetha; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Burke, Terry; MacDonald, David W
Pathogen-mediated selection is thought to maintain the extreme diversity in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, operating through the heterozygote advantage, rare-allele advantage and fluctuating selection mechanisms. Heterozygote advantage (i.e. recognizing and binding a wider range of antigens than homozygotes) is expected to be more detectable when multiple pathogens are considered simultaneously. Here, we test whether MHC diversity in a wild population of European badgers (Meles meles) is driven by pathogen-mediated selection. We examined individual prevalence (infected or not), infection intensity and co-infection of 13 pathogens from a range of taxa and examined their relationships with MHC class I and class II variability. This population has a variable, but relatively low, number of MHC alleles and is infected by a variety of naturally occurring pathogens, making it very suitable for the investigation of MHC-pathogen relationships. We found associations between pathogen infections and specific MHC haplotypes and alleles. Co-infection status was not correlated with MHC heterozygosity, but there was evidence of heterozygote advantage against individual pathogen infections. This suggests that rare-allele advantages and/or fluctuating selection, and heterozygote advantage are probably the selective forces shaping MHC diversity in this species. We show stronger evidence for MHC associations with infection intensity than for prevalence and conclude that examining both pathogen prevalence and infection intensity is important. Moreover, examination of a large number and diversity of pathogens, and both MHC class I and II genes (which have different functions), provide an improved understanding of the mechanisms driving MHC diversity.
Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a central role in the adaptive immune system and provides a good model with which to understand the evolutionary processes underlying functional genes. Trans-species polymorphism and orthology are both commonly found in MHC genes; however, mammalian MHC class I genes tend to cluster by species. Concerted evolution has the potential to homogenize different loci, whereas birth-and-death evolution can lead to the loss of orthologs; both processes result in monophyletic groups within species. Studies investigating the evolution of MHC class I genes have been biased toward a few particular taxa and model species. We present the first study of MHC class I genes in a species from the superfamily Musteloidea. The European badger (Meles meles) exhibits moderate variation in MHC class I sequences when compared to other carnivores. We identified seven putatively functional sequences and nine pseudogenes from genomic (gDNA) and complementary (cDNA) DNA, signifying at least two functional class I loci. We found evidence for separate evolutionary histories of the α1 and α2/α3 domains. In the α1 domain, several sequences from different species were more closely related to each other than to sequences from the same species, resembling orthology or trans-species polymorphism. Balancing selection and probable recombination maintain genetic diversity in the α1 domain, evidenced by the detection of positive selection and a recombination event. By comparison, two recombination breakpoints indicate that the α2/α3 domains have most likely undergone concerted evolution, where recombination has homogenized the α2/α3 domains between genes, leading to species-specific clusters of sequences. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing MHC domains separately.
Sin, Yung Wa; Annavi, Geetha; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W; Dugdale, Hannah L
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a crucial role in the immune system, and in some species, it is a target by which individuals choose mates to optimize the fitness of their offspring, potentially mediated by olfactory cues. Under the genetic compatibility hypothesis, individuals are predicted to choose mates with compatible MHC alleles, to increase the fitness of their offspring. Studies of MHC-based mate choice in wild mammals are under-represented currently, and few investigate more than one class of MHC genes. We investigated mate choice based on the compatibility of MHC class I and II genes in a wild population of European badgers (Meles meles). We also investigated mate choice based on microsatellite-derived pairwise relatedness, to attempt to distinguish MHC-specific effects from genomewide effects. We found MHC-assortative mating, based on MHC class II, but not class I genes. Parent pairs had smaller MHC class II DRB amino acid distances and smaller functional distances than expected from random pairings. When we separated the analyses into within-group and neighbouring-group parent pairs, only neighbouring-group pairs showed MHC-assortative mating, due to similarity at MHC class II loci. Our randomizations showed no evidence of genomewide-based inbreeding, based on 35 microsatellite loci; MHC class II similarity was therefore the apparent target of mate choice. We propose that MHC-assortative mate choice may be a local adaptation to endemic pathogens, and this assortative mate choice may have contributed to the low MHC genetic diversity in this population.
Delahay, R J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R S
Mycobacterium bovis infection has been confirmed in a wide range of mammals hosts throughout the world. The European badger (Meles meles) and the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) are implicated as significant sources of infection for domestic cattle in the UK and New Zealand respectively. The risk of transmission of infection between a wildlife population and domestic animals will be determined by both the epidemiology of the disease and the ecology of the host. In the UK, surveys by the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) have identified M. bovis infection in deer (Cervus sp., Capreolus sp., Dama sp.), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), mink (Mustela vison), feral ferret (Mustela furo), mole (Talpa europaea), brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) and feral cat (Felis catus). However, the potential contribution to cattle herd breakdowns, of reservoirs of M. bovis infection in mammals other than the badger is poorly understood and is the subject of current research. In contrast, M. bovis infection in the badger has been the subject of a long term ecological and epidemiological study at Woodchester Park in South-West England, where the prevalence and distribution of infection in a wild population has been intensively monitored. The pattern of infection in the population and potential risks to cattle, are profoundly influenced by badger social organization and behaviour. The pattern of land use and cattle farming practices in the UK brings badgers into close contact with domestic animals and provides conditions that may enhance the likelihood of disease transfer.
Gowtage, Sonya; Williams, Gareth A; Henderson, Ray; Aylett, Paul; MacMorran, Duncan; Palmer, Si; Robertson, Andy; Lesellier, Sandrine; Carter, Stephen P; Chambers, Mark A
The oral vaccination of wild badgers (Meles meles) with live Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is one of the tools being considered for the control of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in the UK. The design of a product for oral vaccination requires that numerous, and often competing, conditions are met. These include the need for a highly palatable, but physically stable bait that will meet regulatory requirements, and one which is also compatible with the vaccine formulation; in this case live BCG. In collaboration with two commercial bait companies we have developed a highly attractive and palatable bait recipe designed specifically for European badgers (Meles meles) that meets these requirements. The palatability of different batches of bait was evaluated against a standardised palatable control bait using captive badgers. The physical properties of the bait are described e.g. firmness and colour. The microbial load in the bait was assessed against European and US Pharmacopoeias. The bait was combined with an edible vaccine carrier made of hydrogenated peanut oil in which BCG vaccine was stable during bait manufacture and cold storage, demonstrating <0.5 log10 reduction in titre after 117weeks' storage at -20°C. BCG stability in bait was also evaluated at +4°C and under simulated environmental conditions (20°C, 98% Relative Humidity; RH). Finally, iophenoxic acid biomarkers were utilised as a surrogate for the BCG vaccine, to test variants of the vaccine-bait design for their ability to deliver biomarker to the gastrointestinal tract of individual animals. These data provide the first detailed description of a bait-vaccine delivery system developed specifically for the oral vaccination of badgers against Mycobacterium bovis using live BCG.
Chambers, Mark A; Aldwell, Frank; Williams, Gareth A; Palmer, Si; Gowtage, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna J; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, Francisco J; Nunez, Alejandro; Nadian, Allan K; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A L; Lesellier, Sandrine
The European badger (Meles meles) is a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and responsible for a proportion of the tuberculosis (TB) cases seen in cattle in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. An injectable preparation of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is licensed for use in badgers in the UK and its use forms part of the bovine TB eradication plans of England and Wales. However, there are practical limitations to the widespread application of an injectable vaccine for badgers and a research priority is the development of an oral vaccine deliverable to badgers in bait. Previous studies reported the successful vaccination of badgers with oral preparations of 10(8) colony forming units (CFU) of both Pasteur and Danish strains of BCG contained within a lipid matrix composed of triglycerides of fatty acids. Protection against TB in these studies was expressed as a reduction in the number and apparent progression of visible lesions, and reductions in the bacterial load and dissemination of infection. To reduce the cost of an oral vaccine and reduce the potential for environmental contamination with BCG, it is necessary to define the minimal efficacious dose of oral BCG for badgers. The objectives of the two studies reported here were to compare the efficacy of BCG Danish strain in a lipid matrix with unformulated BCG given orally, and to evaluate the efficacy of BCG Danish in a lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose than previously evaluated in badgers. In the first study, both BCG unformulated and in a lipid matrix reduced the number and apparent progression of visible lesions and the dissemination of infection from the lung. In the second study, vaccination with BCG in the lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose produced a similar outcome, but with greater intra-group variability than seen with the higher dose in the first study. Further research is needed before we are able to recommend a final dose of BCG for oral vaccination of badgers against TB
Lesellier, S; Palmer, S; Dalley, D J; Davé, D; Johnson, L; Hewinson, R G; Chambers, M A
European badgers (Meles meles) are a wildlife reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in Great Britain (GB) and the Republic of Ireland and therefore constitute a potential source of infection for cattle. Reduction of badger densities in the Republic of Ireland has resulted in an associated reduction in the risk of a herd break-down with bovine tuberculosis and a study to determine whether this is also the case in GB has been running since 1997. If badgers are a significant source of M. bovis infection for cattle, vaccinating badgers with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) might prove to be a long term, cost-effective strategy for controlling bovine tuberculosis whilst preserving badger populations. As a first step towards BCG vaccination of wild badgers, it was necessary to demonstrate safety of the vaccine in captive badgers. Therefore, captive badgers were vaccinated with a commercial source of BCG that is already licensed for administration to humans in GB-BCG Danish SSI. Using a protocol prescribed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of GB, badgers were vaccinated with two consecutive doses of BCG via either the subcutaneous (s.c.) or intra-muscular (i.m.) routes. The first dose was high, ranging from 16 to 22 x 10(7) colony-forming units (CFU), and was followed 15 weeks later by a lower dose in the range of 4-7 x 10(5)CFU. Local reaction at the site of injection and general responses (body temperature, haematology and blood serum chemistry), behaviour and excretion of BCG were monitored for 28 weeks from the time of the first vaccination. The only side-effect observed was the occurrence of localised swelling at the site of BCG injection that disappeared 48 days after i.m. vaccination but persisted longer in the group vaccinated by the s.c. route. Immunological responses were measured at regular intervals. Strong cellular responses were observed 13 days after the first vaccination, which persisted for 76 days. The lower dose induced a weaker and
Chambers, Mark A.; Aldwell, Frank; Williams, Gareth A.; Palmer, Si; Gowtage, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna J.; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, Francisco J.; Nunez, Alejandro; Nadian, Allan K.; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A. L.; Lesellier, Sandrine
The European badger (Meles meles) is a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and responsible for a proportion of the tuberculosis (TB) cases seen in cattle in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. An injectable preparation of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is licensed for use in badgers in the UK and its use forms part of the bovine TB eradication plans of England and Wales. However, there are practical limitations to the widespread application of an injectable vaccine for badgers and a research priority is the development of an oral vaccine deliverable to badgers in bait. Previous studies reported the successful vaccination of badgers with oral preparations of 108 colony forming units (CFU) of both Pasteur and Danish strains of BCG contained within a lipid matrix composed of triglycerides of fatty acids. Protection against TB in these studies was expressed as a reduction in the number and apparent progression of visible lesions, and reductions in the bacterial load and dissemination of infection. To reduce the cost of an oral vaccine and reduce the potential for environmental contamination with BCG, it is necessary to define the minimal efficacious dose of oral BCG for badgers. The objectives of the two studies reported here were to compare the efficacy of BCG Danish strain in a lipid matrix with unformulated BCG given orally, and to evaluate the efficacy of BCG Danish in a lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose than previously evaluated in badgers. In the first study, both BCG unformulated and in a lipid matrix reduced the number and apparent progression of visible lesions and the dissemination of infection from the lung. In the second study, vaccination with BCG in the lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose produced a similar outcome, but with greater intra-group variability than seen with the higher dose in the first study. Further research is needed before we are able to recommend a final dose of BCG for oral vaccination of badgers against TB or
Noonan, Michael J.; Markham, Andrew; Newman, Chris; Trigoni, Niki; Buesching, Christina D.; Ellwood, Stephen A.; Macdonald, David W.
We establish intra-individual and inter-annual variability in European badger (Meles meles) autumnal nightly activity in relation to fine-scale climatic variables, using tri-axial accelerometry. This contributes further to understanding of causality in the established interaction between weather conditions and population dynamics in this species. Modelling found that measures of daylight, rain/humidity, and soil temperature were the most supported predictors of ACTIVITY, in both years studied. In 2010, the drier year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, RAIN, and30cmTEMP (w = 0.557), while in 2012, a wetter year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, and the RAIN*10cmTEMP (w = 0.999). ACTIVITY also differed significantly between individuals. In the 2012 autumn study period, badgers with the longest per noctem activity subsequently exhibited higher Body Condition Indices (BCI) when recaptured. In contrast, under drier 2010 conditions, badgers in good BCI engaged in less per noctem activity, while badgers with poor BCI were the most active. When compared on the same calendar dates, to control for night length, duration of mean badger nightly activity was longer (9.5 hrs ±3.3 SE) in 2010 than in 2012 (8.3 hrs ±1.9 SE). In the wetter year, increasing nightly activity was associated with net-positive energetic gains (from BCI), likely due to better foraging conditions. In a drier year, with greater potential for net-negative energy returns, individual nutritional state proved crucial in modifying activity regimes; thus we emphasise how a ‘one size fits all’ approach should not be applied to ecological responses. PMID:24465376
Noonan, Michael J; Markham, Andrew; Newman, Chris; Trigoni, Niki; Buesching, Christina D; Ellwood, Stephen A; Macdonald, David W
We establish intra-individual and inter-annual variability in European badger (Meles meles) autumnal nightly activity in relation to fine-scale climatic variables, using tri-axial accelerometry. This contributes further to understanding of causality in the established interaction between weather conditions and population dynamics in this species. Modelling found that measures of daylight, rain/humidity, and soil temperature were the most supported predictors of ACTIVITY, in both years studied. In 2010, the drier year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, RAIN, and 30cmTEMP (w = 0.557), while in 2012, a wetter year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, and the RAIN*10cmTEMP (w = 0.999). ACTIVITY also differed significantly between individuals. In the 2012 autumn study period, badgers with the longest per noctem activity subsequently exhibited higher Body Condition Indices (BCI) when recaptured. In contrast, under drier 2010 conditions, badgers in good BCI engaged in less per noctem activity, while badgers with poor BCI were the most active. When compared on the same calendar dates, to control for night length, duration of mean badger nightly activity was longer (9.5 hrs ±3.3 SE) in 2010 than in 2012 (8.3 hrs ±1.9 SE). In the wetter year, increasing nightly activity was associated with net-positive energetic gains (from BCI), likely due to better foraging conditions. In a drier year, with greater potential for net-negative energy returns, individual nutritional state proved crucial in modifying activity regimes; thus we emphasise how a 'one size fits all' approach should not be applied to ecological responses.
Frantz, A C; McDevitt, A D; Pope, L C; Kochan, J; Davison, J; Clements, C F; Elmeros, M; Molina-Vacas, G; Ruiz-Gonzalez, A; Balestrieri, A; Van Den Berge, K; Breyne, P; Do Linh San, E; Ågren, E O; Suchentrunk, F; Schley, L; Kowalczyk, R; Kostka, B I; Ćirović, D; Šprem, N; Colyn, M; Ghirardi, M; Racheva, V; Braun, C; Oliveira, R; Lanszki, J; Stubbe, A; Stubbe, M; Stier, N; Burke, T
Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European badger (Meles meles) is of interest as it may result from historic restriction to glacial refugia and/or recent anthropogenic impact. However, previous studies were based mostly on samples from western Europe, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions about the location of refugia, patterns of postglacial expansion and recent demography. In the present study, continent-wide sampling and analyses with multiple markers provided evidence for two glacial refugia (Iberia and southeast Europe) that contributed to the genetic variation observed in badgers in Europe today. Approximate Bayesian computation provided support for a colonisation of Scandinavia from both Iberian and southeastern refugia. In the whole of Europe, we observed a decline in genetic diversity with increasing latitude, suggesting that the reduced diversity in the peripheral populations resulted from a postglacial expansion processes. Although MSVAR v.1.3 also provided evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks in some of these peripheral populations, the simulations performed to estimate the method's power to correctly infer the past demography of our empirical populations suggested that the timing and severity of bottlenecks could not be established with certainty. We urge caution against trying to relate demographic declines inferred using MSVAR with particular historic or climatological events. PMID:24781805
Frantz, A C; McDevitt, A D; Pope, L C; Kochan, J; Davison, J; Clements, C F; Elmeros, M; Molina-Vacas, G; Ruiz-Gonzalez, A; Balestrieri, A; Van Den Berge, K; Breyne, P; Do Linh San, E; Agren, E O; Suchentrunk, F; Schley, L; Kowalczyk, R; Kostka, B I; Cirović, D; Sprem, N; Colyn, M; Ghirardi, M; Racheva, V; Braun, C; Oliveira, R; Lanszki, J; Stubbe, A; Stubbe, M; Stier, N; Burke, T
Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European badger (Meles meles) is of interest as it may result from historic restriction to glacial refugia and/or recent anthropogenic impact. However, previous studies were based mostly on samples from western Europe, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions about the location of refugia, patterns of postglacial expansion and recent demography. In the present study, continent-wide sampling and analyses with multiple markers provided evidence for two glacial refugia (Iberia and southeast Europe) that contributed to the genetic variation observed in badgers in Europe today. Approximate Bayesian computation provided support for a colonisation of Scandinavia from both Iberian and southeastern refugia. In the whole of Europe, we observed a decline in genetic diversity with increasing latitude, suggesting that the reduced diversity in the peripheral populations resulted from a postglacial expansion processes. Although MSVAR v.1.3 also provided evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks in some of these peripheral populations, the simulations performed to estimate the method's power to correctly infer the past demography of our empirical populations suggested that the timing and severity of bottlenecks could not be established with certainty. We urge caution against trying to relate demographic declines inferred using MSVAR with particular historic or climatological events.
Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) comprises many genes, some of which are polymorphic with numerous alleles. Sequence variation among alleles is most pronounced in exon 2 of the class II genes, which encodes the α1 and β1 domains that form the antigen-binding site (ABS) for the presentation of peptides. The MHC thus plays an important role in pathogen defense. European badgers (Meles meles) are a good species in which to study the MHC, as they harbor a variety of pathogens. We present the first characterization of MHC class II genes, isolated from genomic DNA (gDNA) and complementary DNA (cDNA), in the European badger. Examination of seven individuals revealed four DRB, two DQB, two DQA, and two DRA putatively functional gDNA sequences. All of these sequences, except DRA, exhibited high variability in exon 2; DRB had the highest variability. The ABS codons demonstrated high variability, due potentially to balancing selection, while non-ABS codons had lower variability. Positively selected sites were detected in DRB and DQA. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated trans-species polymorphism of class II genes. Comparison with cDNA from whole blood revealed that only DRB had a transcription pattern reflecting the alleles that were present in the gDNA, while the other three genes had disparities between gDNA and cDNA. Only one sequence was transcribed, even though two gDNA sequences were present, from each of both DQB and DRA. Our characterization of badger MHC sequences forms a basis for further studies of MHC variability, mate choice, and pathogen resistance in this, and other, species.
Byrne, Andrew W; O'Keeffe, James; Sleeman, D Paddy; Davenport, John; Martin, S Wayne
Understanding factors affecting the number of badgers captured at and around badger setts (burrows) is of considerable applied importance. These factors could be used to estimate probable badger densities for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) control and also for monitoring badger populations from a conservation perspective. Furthermore, badger management and vaccination programs would benefit by increasing the probability of efficiently capturing the target badger populations. Within this context, it was investigated whether badger capture numbers can be estimated from field signs and previous capture histories. Badger capture records (initial and repeated capture numbers at a sett) from a large-scale removal program (405 km(2), 643 setts) were used. Univariable count models indicated that there were a number of significant potential predictors of badger numbers, during initial capture attempts. Using a multivariable zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model of initial captures we found that badger capture numbers were significantly affected by sett type, season, year, and the number of sett entrances in active use. Badger capture numbers were also affected by the total previous catch during repeated capture events and by the number of previous capture attempts. There was a significant negative trend in badger captures across events. Measures of the ability of these models to estimate badger captures suggested that the models might be useful in estimating badger numbers across a population; however the confidence intervals associated with these predictions were large.
Hornok, Sándor; Trauttwein, Klaudia; Takács, Nóra; Hodžić, Adnan; Duscher, Georg Gerhard; Kontschán, Jenő
The European badger (Meles meles) is a widespread mammal in most countries of the European continent, with increasingly recognized veterinary/medical importance owing to its preferred habitats (including pastures and urban environments), broad spectrum of food items, and role as a game hunting target. However, ticks and tick-borne pathogens associated with badgers are only partly known, and most of them have not yet been analysed with molecular biological methods The aim of this study was to perform molecular taxonomic analysis of ticks collected from a road-killed European badger, as well as to molecularly investigate its ticks and blood sample for the presence of Anaplasmataceae and piroplasms. Ticks from the badger were morphologically identified as females of Ixodes rugicollis. Based on its cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA sequences, I. rugicollis phylogenetically clustered together with I. lividus and I. arboricola, i.e. other members of the subgenus Pholeoixodes. The blood sample of the badger contained the DNA of Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) recently identified in red fox in Austria and the Czech Republic. This genotype is most closely related to Ca. N. lotoris (from raccoons in North America), and has lower sequence identity with the I. ricinus-transmitted zoonotic agent, Ca. N. mikurensis found in Eurasia. In the blood of the badger and in one female I. rugicollis, the DNA of a new Babesia genotype was also present, which differed from a piroplasm detected in M. meles in Spain, and clustered phylogenetically in the B. microti clade. Phylogenetic analysis of I. rugicollis (based on two genetic markers) confirms its status in subgenus Pholeoixodes. Ca. Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) was identified for the first time in M. meles and in Hungary. In addition, a molecularly previously not yet characterized Babesia genotype occurs in badgers in Central Europe.
Sin, Yung Wa; Buesching, Christina D; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W
Many mammals possess specialized scent glands, which convey information about the marking individual. As the chemical profile of scent marks is likely to be affected by bacteria metabolizing the primary gland products, the variation in bacterial communities between different individuals has been proposed to underpin olfactory communication. However, few studies have investigated the dependency of microbiota residing in the scent organs on the host's individual-specific parameters. Here, we used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene and clone library construction to investigate the microbial communities in the subcaudal gland secretion of the European badger (Meles meles). As the secretion has been shown to encode individual-specific information, we investigated the correlation of the microbiota with different individual-specific parameters (age, sex, body condition, reproductive status, and season). We discovered a high number of bacterial species (56 operational taxonomic units from four phyla: Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes), dominated by Actinobacteria (76.0%). The bacterial communities of cubs and adults differed significantly. Cubs possessed considerably more diverse communities dominated by Firmicutes, while in adults the communities were less diverse and dominated by Actinobacteria, suggesting that the acquisition of a 'mature bacterial community' is an ontogenetic process related to physiological changes during maturation.
Byrne, Andrew W; O'Keeffe, James; Green, Stuart; Sleeman, D Paddy; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn; Murphy, Denise; Martin, S Wayne; Davenport, John
Estimates of population size and trappability inform vaccine efficacy modelling and are required for adaptive management during prolonged wildlife vaccination campaigns. We present an analysis of mark-recapture data from a badger vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) study in Ireland. This study is the largest scale (755 km(2)) mark-recapture study ever undertaken with this species. The study area was divided into three approximately equal-sized zones, each with similar survey and capture effort. A mean badger population size of 671 (SD: 76) was estimated using a closed-subpopulation model (CSpM) based on data from capturing sessions of the entire area and was consistent with a separate multiplicative model. Minimum number alive estimates calculated from the same data were on average 49-51% smaller than the CSpM estimates, but these are considered severely negatively biased when trappability is low. Population densities derived from the CSpM estimates were 0.82-1.06 badgers km(-2), and broadly consistent with previous reports for an adjacent area. Mean trappability was estimated to be 34-35% per session across the population. By the fifth capture session, 79% of the adult badgers caught had been marked previously. Multivariable modelling suggested significant differences in badger trappability depending on zone, season and age-class. There were more putatively trap-wary badgers identified in the population than trap-happy badgers, but wariness was not related to individual's sex, zone or season of capture. Live-trapping efficacy can vary significantly amongst sites, seasons, age, or personality, hence monitoring of trappability is recommended as part of an adaptive management regime during large-scale wildlife vaccination programs to counter biases and to improve efficiencies.
Abdou, Marwa; Frankena, Klaas; O'Keeffe, James; Byrne, Andrew W
The control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle herds in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) is partially hindered by spill-back infection from wild badgers (Meles meles). The aim of this study was to determine the relative effects of interventions (combinations of culling and/or vaccination) on bTB dynamics in an Irish badger population. A spatial agent-based stochastic simulation model was developed to evaluate the effect of various control strategies for bovine tuberculosis in badgers: single control strategies (culling, selective culling, vaccination, and vaccine baits), and combined strategies (Test vaccinate/cull (TVC)), split area approaches using culling and vaccination, or selective culling and vaccination, and mixed scenarios where culling was conducted for five years and followed by vaccination or by a TVC strategy. The effect of each control strategy was evaluated over a 20-year period. Badger control was simulated in 25%, 50%, and 75% area (limited area strategy) or in the entire area (100%, wide area strategy). For endemic bTB, a culling strategy was successful in eradicating bTB from the population only if applied as an area-wide strategy. However, this was achieved only by risking the extinction of the badger population. Selective culling strategies (selective culling or TVC) mitigated this negative impact on the badger population's viability. Furthermore, both strategies (selective culling and TVC) allowed the badger population to recover gradually, in compensation for the population reduction following the initial use of removal strategies. The model predicted that vaccination can be effective in reducing bTB prevalence in badgers, when used in combination with culling strategies (i.e. TVC or other strategies). If fecundity was reduced below its natural levels (e.g. by using wildlife contraceptives), the effectiveness of vaccination strategies improved. Split-area simulations highlighted that interventions can have indirect effects (e.g. on
Tomlinson, Alexandra J; Chambers, Mark A; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J
Bovine tuberculosis is one of the biggest challenges facing cattle farming in Great Britain. European badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host for the causal agent, Mycobacterium bovis. There have been significant recent advances in diagnostic testing for tuberculosis in humans, cattle and badgers, with the development of species-specific assays for interferon-γ (IFN-γ), an important cytokine in tuberculous infections. Using data collected from longitudinal studies of naturally infected wild badgers, we report that the magnitude of the IFN-γ response to M. bovis antigens at the disclosing test event was positively correlated with subsequent progression of disease to a seropositive or excreting state. In addition, we show that the magnitude of the IFN-γ response, despite fluctuation, declined with time after the disclosing event for all badgers, but remained significantly higher in those animals with evidence of disease progression. We discuss how our findings may be related to the immunopathogenesis of natural M. bovis infection in badgers.
Dalley, D J; Hogarth, P J; Hughes, S; Hewinson, R G; Chambers, M A
The European badger (Meles meles) has been identified as a reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis and is implicated in the maintenance and transmission of tuberculosis in cattle. There is a need for a sensitive test of M. bovis infection in badgers and the current serodiagnostic test used for this purpose has low sensitivity. As observed for other species, assay of interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) produced in response to M. bovis antigens is a more sensitive test of tuberculosis. With this objective in sight, we report the first step in the development of an ELISA for badger IFNgamma. The badger IFNgamma gene was cloned and sequenced and used to generate a specific polyclonal antibody to the cytokine. The gene sequence demonstrated regions that were conserved within the IFNgamma genes of other mammals. The badger sequence was most similar to the canine, showing similar structural organisation of the gene and 88% amino acid identity. Rabbits were immunised with DNA encoding badger IFNgamma and the resulting polyclonal antiserum demonstrated specificity for canine IFNgamma by immunoblot of a commercial recombinant canine IFNgamma. The antiserum was used to detect intracellular badger IFNgamma by flow cytometry analysis of badger lymphocytes stimulated with mitogen.
Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki; Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W
The European badger Meles meles is thought to mate throughout the year with two mating peaks occurring in late winter/spring and summer/autumn. After mating, fertilized ova enter embryonic diapause (delayed implantation) at the blastocyst stage, which lasts up to eleven months. Even if mating is successful, however, the estrous cycle may continue during embryonic diapause, which suggests that female badgers are capable of superfetation (conception during pregnancy). This may increase female fitness by facilitating polyandry, and reduce the risk of infanticide by resident males through paternity confusion. Detailed understanding of female receptivity, specifically the association of superfetation with embryonic diapause, may explain field observations of seemingly inconsistent reproductive tactics of male badgers with regard to, for instance, whether or not they guard mates or defend territories. The combination of embryonic diapause and superfetation may occur in other mustelids; if so, the sociobiology of mustelids will need reevaluating, and the Mustelidae may prove to be a good model taxon for studies of sexual conflict in the reproduction of eutherian mammals.
Sawyer, J; Mealing, D; Dalley, D; Davé, D; Lesellier, S; Palmer, S; Bowen-Davies, J; Crawshaw, T R; Chambers, M A
A real-time PCR assay for the measurement of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) mRNA in European badger (Meles meles) blood cultures was developed. The levels of IFN-gamma mRNA in blood cultures stimulated with either bovine or avian tuberculin or specific mycobacterial antigens were compared with those in a nonstimulated control blood culture as the basis for determining the tuberculosis (TB) status of live badgers. The assay was validated by testing 247 animals for which there were matching data from postmortem examination and culture of tissues. Relative changes in the levels of IFN-gamma mRNA in response to bovine tuberculin and specific antigens were found to be greater among badgers with tissues positive for TB on culture. The test was at its most accurate (87% of test results were correct) by using blood cultures containing bovine tuberculin as the antigen and when the response to avian tuberculin was taken into account by subtracting the avian tuberculin response from the bovine tuberculin response. At a specificity of 90.7%, the test was 70.6% sensitive. At the same specificity, the current serological enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for TB in badgers was only 53% sensitive. This work demonstrates that measurement of IFN-gamma mRNA by real-time PCR is a valid method for the detection of TB in live badgers and may provide an alternative to the current serological methods of diagnosis, the Brock test. The testing procedure can be completed within 5 h of receipt of the blood culture samples. In addition, the use of a molecular biology-based test offers the potential to fully automate the testing procedure through the use of robotics.
Wodecka, Beata; Michalik, Jerzy; Lane, Robert S; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Wierzbicka, Anna
European badgers and raccoon dogs and their associated ticks and lice were assayed for the presence of Lyme borreliosis and relapsing fever-group spirochete DNA in western Poland. Analyses of blood, ear-biopsy and liver samples revealed that 25% of 28 raccoon dogs and 12% of 34 badgers were PCR positive for borreliae. Borrelia garinii was the dominant species in raccoon dogs (62.5%), followed by B. afzelii (25%) and B. valaisiana (12.5%). PCR-positive badgers were infected only with B. afzelii. A total of 351 attached ticks was recovered from 23 (82%) of the raccoon dogs and 13 (38%) of the badgers. Using a nested PCR targeting the ITS2 fragments of Ixodes DNA, four Ixodes species were identified: I. ricinus, I. canisuga, I. hexagonus, and one provisionally named I. cf. kaiseri. Ixodes canisuga and I. ricinus prevailed on both host species. The highest infection prevalence was detected in I. ricinus, followed by I. canisuga and I. cf. kaiseri. Borrelia garinii and B. afzelii accounted for 61.6% and 30.1% of the infections detected in all PCR-positive ticks, respectively. Four other Borrelia species (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae and B. miyamotoi) were detected only in I. ricinus from raccoon dogs. Moreover, Borrelia DNA, mostly B. garinii, was detected in 57 (81.4%) of 70 Trichodectes melis lice derived from 12 badgers. The detection of B. afzelii in one-half of PCR-positive biopsies reconfirms previous associations of this species with mammalian hosts, whereas the high prevalence of B. garinii in feeding lice and I. ricinus ticks (including larvae) demonstrates that both carnivores serve as hosts for B. garinii. The lack of B. garinii DNA in the tissues of badgers versus its prevalence in raccoon-dog biopsies, however, incriminates only the latter carnivore as a potential reservoir host.
Nouvellet, Pierre; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Macdonald, David W
Models capturing the full effects of weather conditions on animal populations are scarce. Here we decompose yearly temperature and rainfall into mean trends, yearly amplitude of change and residual variation, using daily records. We establish from multi-model inference procedures, based on 1125 life histories (from 1987 to 2008), that European badger (Meles meles) annual mortality and recruitment rates respond to changes in mean trends and to variability in proximate weather components. Variation in mean rainfall was by far the most influential predictor in our analysis. Juvenile survival and recruitment rates were highest at intermediate levels of mean rainfall, whereas low adult survival rates were associated with only the driest, and not the wettest, years. Both juvenile and adult survival rates also exhibited a range of tolerance for residual standard deviation around daily predicted temperature values, beyond which survival rates declined. Life-history parameters, annual routines and adaptive behavioural responses, which define the badgers' climatic niche, thus appear to be predicated upon a bounded range of climatic conditions, which support optimal survival and recruitment dynamics. That variability in weather conditions is influential, in combination with mean climatic trends, on the vital rates of a generalist, wide ranging and K-selected medium-sized carnivore, has major implications for evolutionary ecology and conservation.
Corner, Leigh A L; Costello, Eamon; Lesellier, Sandrine; O'Meara, Damien; Gormley, Eamonn
Mycobacterium bovis is endemic in badger (Meles meles) populations of Ireland and the United Kingdom and infected badgers are a potential source of infection for cattle. In domestic livestock tuberculosis causes economic losses from lost production and the costs associated with eradication programmes, and in addition there is a risk of zoonotic infection. Whereas culling is currently used to control tuberculous badger populations in Ireland, vaccination, if it were available, would be preferred. A study was undertaken to examine the protective responses of badgers vaccinated either by the subcutaneous or mucosal (intranasal and conjunctival) routes with bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), when challenged with M. bovis by the endobronchial route. Three groups of badgers were used. The first group (n=4) was vaccinated with approximately 5 x 10(5) colony forming units (cfu) of BCG by subcutaneous injection. In the second group (n=5) badgers were vaccinated via the mucosal route by instilling 1.0 x 10(5)cfu into each conjunctival sac and spraying 1.0 x 10(5)cfu into each nostril (final vaccine dose of 4 x 10(5)cfu). The control (n=5) badgers served as a non-vaccinated group. Twelve weeks post-vaccination all badgers in the three groups were challenged with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis by endobronchial inoculation. At 12 weeks post-infection all badgers were examined post-mortem to assess the pathological and bacteriological responses to challenge. Gross and histological lesions of tuberculosis were seen in all challenged badgers and M. bovis was recovered from all challenged badgers. However, across six of the eight parameters used to measure disease severity, the infection in the vaccinated badgers was significantly less severe than in the control group. The BCG vaccine induced a significant protective effect in the badgers and the protective immunity was generated by subcutaneous and mucosal vaccination.
Annavi, G; Newman, C; Dugdale, H L; Buesching, C D; Sin, Y W; Burke, T; Macdonald, D W
Extra-group paternity (EGP) occurs commonly among group-living mammals and plays an important role in mating systems and the dynamics of sexual selection; however, socio-ecological and genetic correlates of EGP have been underexplored. We use 23 years of demographic and genetic data from a high-density European badger (Meles meles) population, to investigate the relationship between the rate of EGP in litters and mate availability, mate incompatibility and mate quality (heterozygosity). Relatedness between within-group assigned mothers and candidate fathers had a negative quadratic effect on EGP, whereas the number of neighbouring-group candidate fathers had a linear positive effect. We detected no effect of mean or maximum heterozygosity of within-group candidate fathers on EGP. Consequently, EGP was associated primarily with mate availability, subject to within-group genetic effects, potentially to mitigate mate incompatibility and inbreeding. In badgers, cryptic female choice, facilitated by superfecundation, superfoetation and delayed implantation, prevents males from monopolizing within-group females. This resonates with a meta-analysis in group-living mammals, which proposed that higher rates of EGP occur when within-group males cannot monopolize within-group females. In contrast to the positive meta-analytic association, however, we found that EGP associated negatively with the number of within-group assigned mothers and the number of within-group candidate fathers; potentially a strategy to counter within-group males committing infanticide. The relationship between the rate of EGP and socio-ecological or genetic factors can therefore be intricate, and the potential for cryptic female choice must be accounted for in comparative studies.
Noonan, Michael J.; Newman, Chris; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank; Macdonald, David W.
Socio-spatial interactions of Carnivores have traditionally been described using the vocabulary of territoriality and aggression, with scent marks interpreted as ‘scent fences’. Here, we investigate the role of olfactory signals in assumed territorial marking of group-living solitary foragers using European badgers Meles meles as a model. We presented anal gland secretions (n = 351) from known individuals to identifiable recipients (n = 187), to assess response-variation according to familiarity (own-group, neighbours, strangers) and spatial context (in-context: at a shared border; out-of-context: at an unshared border/ the main sett). Sniffing and over-marking (with subcaudal gland secretion) responses were strongest to anal gland secretions from strangers, intermediate to neighbouring-group and weakest to own-group members. Secretions from both, strangers and neighbours, were sniffed for longer than were own-group samples, although neighbour-secretion presented out-of-context evoked no greater interest than in-context. On an individual level, responses were further moderated by the relevance of individual-specific donor information encoded in the secretion, as it related to the physiological state of the responder. There was a trend bordering on significance for males to sniff for longer than did females, but without sex-related differences in the frequency of subcaudal over-marking responses, and males over-marked oestrous female secretions more than non-oestrous females. There were no age-class related differences in sniff-duration or in over-marking. Evaluating these results in the context of the Familiarity hypothesis, the Threat-level hypothesis, and the Individual advertisement hypothesis evidences that interpretations of territorial scent-marks depicting rigid and potentially agonistic discrimination between own- and foreign-group conspecifics are overly simplistic. We use our findings to advance conceptual understanding of badger socio-spatial ecology
Tinnesand, Helga V; Buesching, Christina D; Noonan, Michael J; Newman, Chris; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank; Macdonald, David W
Socio-spatial interactions of Carnivores have traditionally been described using the vocabulary of territoriality and aggression, with scent marks interpreted as 'scent fences'. Here, we investigate the role of olfactory signals in assumed territorial marking of group-living solitary foragers using European badgers Meles meles as a model. We presented anal gland secretions (n = 351) from known individuals to identifiable recipients (n = 187), to assess response-variation according to familiarity (own-group, neighbours, strangers) and spatial context (in-context: at a shared border; out-of-context: at an unshared border/ the main sett). Sniffing and over-marking (with subcaudal gland secretion) responses were strongest to anal gland secretions from strangers, intermediate to neighbouring-group and weakest to own-group members. Secretions from both, strangers and neighbours, were sniffed for longer than were own-group samples, although neighbour-secretion presented out-of-context evoked no greater interest than in-context. On an individual level, responses were further moderated by the relevance of individual-specific donor information encoded in the secretion, as it related to the physiological state of the responder. There was a trend bordering on significance for males to sniff for longer than did females, but without sex-related differences in the frequency of subcaudal over-marking responses, and males over-marked oestrous female secretions more than non-oestrous females. There were no age-class related differences in sniff-duration or in over-marking. Evaluating these results in the context of the Familiarity hypothesis, the Threat-level hypothesis, and the Individual advertisement hypothesis evidences that interpretations of territorial scent-marks depicting rigid and potentially agonistic discrimination between own- and foreign-group conspecifics are overly simplistic. We use our findings to advance conceptual understanding of badger socio-spatial ecology
Annavi, G; Newman, C; Dugdale, H L; Buesching, C D; Sin, Y W; Burke, T; Macdonald, D W
Extra-group paternity (EGP) occurs commonly among group-living mammals and plays an important role in mating systems and the dynamics of sexual selection; however, socio-ecological and genetic correlates of EGP have been underexplored. We use 23 years of demographic and genetic data from a high-density European badger (Meles meles) population, to investigate the relationship between the rate of EGP in litters and mate availability, mate incompatibility and mate quality (heterozygosity). Relatedness between within-group assigned mothers and candidate fathers had a negative quadratic effect on EGP, whereas the number of neighbouring-group candidate fathers had a linear positive effect. We detected no effect of mean or maximum heterozygosity of within-group candidate fathers on EGP. Consequently, EGP was associated primarily with mate availability, subject to within-group genetic effects, potentially to mitigate mate incompatibility and inbreeding. In badgers, cryptic female choice, facilitated by superfecundation, superfoetation and delayed implantation, prevents males from monopolizing within-group females. This resonates with a meta-analysis in group-living mammals, which proposed that higher rates of EGP occur when within-group males cannot monopolize within-group females. In contrast to the positive meta-analytic association, however, we found that EGP associated negatively with the number of within-group assigned mothers and the number of within-group candidate fathers; potentially a strategy to counter within-group males committing infanticide. The relationship between the rate of EGP and socio-ecological or genetic factors can therefore be intricate, and the potential for cryptic female choice must be accounted for in comparative studies. PMID:25234113
Robertson, Andrew; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J; Kelly, Simon D; Bearhop, Stuart
Although intra-population variation in niches is a widespread phenomenon with important implications for ecology, evolution and management of a range of animal species, the causes and consequences of this variation remain poorly understood. We used stable isotope analysis to characterise foraging niches and to investigate the causes and consequences of individual niche variation in the European badger, a mustelid mammal that lives in territorial social groups, but forages alone. We found that the degree of individual niche variation within social groups was negatively related to the availability of farmland habitats, which represent an important foraging habitat for badgers; and was positively related to territory size, supporting the idea that resource limitation and ecological opportunity lead to increased individual specialisation. We also found that the degree of individual specialisation related to an individual's body condition and that this effect varied with ecological context; such that specialisation had a stronger positive relationship with body condition in social groups with reduced availability of key farmland habitats. Body condition was also related to the utilisation of specific resources (woodland invertebrates), but again this relationship varied with the availability of farmland foraging habitats. This study supports the idea that resource availability plays an important role in determining patterns of individual niche variation, and identifies the potential adaptive consequences of specialised foraging strategies.
Murphy, D; Gormley, E; Collins, D M; McGrath, G; Sovsic, E; Costello, E; Corner, L A L
In Ireland badgers are removed in response to tuberculosis (TB) breakdowns in cattle herds (focal culling). Prevalence studies, conducted using a detailed post mortem and bacteriological examination, showed that 36-50% of badgers were infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Focal culling forms part of the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB in cattle and is based on the premise that badgers in areas with herd breakdowns have a higher prevalence of infection than the badger population at large. However, the hypothesis that cattle can be used as sentinels for infection in the badger population has never been formally tested. In this study we tested the hypothesis by determining the infection prevalence in badgers in areas where there had been historically, a consistently low prevalence of infection in cattle. Low cattle TB prevalence areas were defined as those herds with ≤ 2 standard reactors in the annual round of skin testing over the preceding 5 years (Greenfield sites). Using GIS, and adjusting for variation in land use, previous culling and cattle density, 198 Greenfield sites were identified and surveyed, and 138 areas with badger setts or signs of badger activity were identified. A single badger was removed from 87 sites and all were examined using detailed post mortem and bacteriological procedures. A prevalence of M. bovis infection of 14.9% was found in the Greenfield site badgers. This prevalence was significantly lower (P<0.001) than in badgers removed during focal culling (36.6%). The results validate the use of cattle as sentinels for TB in badgers and support the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB. The geographic variation in M. bovis infection prevalence in the Irish badger populations will be used when devising strategies for the incorporation of badger vaccination into the long term bovine TB control programme.
Smith, Graham C; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A; Budgey, Richard
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes substantial economic losses to cattle farmers and taxpayers in the British Isles. Disease management in cattle is complicated by the role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a host of the infection. Proactive, non-selective culling of badgers can reduce the incidence of disease in cattle but may also have negative effects in the area surrounding culls that have been associated with social perturbation of badger populations. The selective removal of infected badgers would, in principle, reduce the number culled, but the effects of selective culling on social perturbation and disease outcomes are unclear. We used an established model to simulate non-selective badger culling, non-selective badger vaccination and a selective trap and vaccinate or remove (TVR) approach to badger management in two distinct areas: South West England and Northern Ireland. TVR was simulated with and without social perturbation in effect. The lower badger density in Northern Ireland caused no qualitative change in the effect of management strategies on badgers, although the absolute number of infected badgers was lower in all cases. However, probably due to differing herd density in Northern Ireland, the simulated badger management strategies caused greater variation in subsequent cattle bTB incidence. Selective culling in the model reduced the number of badgers killed by about 83% but this only led to an overall benefit for cattle TB incidence if there was no social perturbation of badgers. We conclude that the likely benefit of selective culling will be dependent on the social responses of badgers to intervention but that other population factors including badger and cattle density had little effect on the relative benefits of selective culling compared to other methods, and that this may also be the case for disease management in other wild host populations.
Smith, Graham C.; Delahay, Richard J.; McDonald, Robbie A.
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes substantial economic losses to cattle farmers and taxpayers in the British Isles. Disease management in cattle is complicated by the role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a host of the infection. Proactive, non-selective culling of badgers can reduce the incidence of disease in cattle but may also have negative effects in the area surrounding culls that have been associated with social perturbation of badger populations. The selective removal of infected badgers would, in principle, reduce the number culled, but the effects of selective culling on social perturbation and disease outcomes are unclear. We used an established model to simulate non-selective badger culling, non-selective badger vaccination and a selective trap and vaccinate or remove (TVR) approach to badger management in two distinct areas: South West England and Northern Ireland. TVR was simulated with and without social perturbation in effect. The lower badger density in Northern Ireland caused no qualitative change in the effect of management strategies on badgers, although the absolute number of infected badgers was lower in all cases. However, probably due to differing herd density in Northern Ireland, the simulated badger management strategies caused greater variation in subsequent cattle bTB incidence. Selective culling in the model reduced the number of badgers killed by about 83% but this only led to an overall benefit for cattle TB incidence if there was no social perturbation of badgers. We conclude that the likely benefit of selective culling will be dependent on the social responses of badgers to intervention but that other population factors including badger and cattle density had little effect on the relative benefits of selective culling compared to other methods, and that this may also be the case for disease management in other wild host populations. PMID:27893809
Corner, L A L; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; O'Meara, D; Gormley, E
The aim of the study was to describe, over a period of 24 weeks, the pathological and bacteriological changes in badgers experimentally infected with Mycobacterium bovis. The badgers were infected by endobronchial instillation of 2.5 x10(4) colony forming units (cfu) M. bovis. After infection, the badgers were examined at 3 weekly intervals when blood and tracheal aspirates were collected. At 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks post-infection (pi) three animals were euthanized and a detailed pathological and bacteriological examination was performed to assess the nature of the experimental disease. During the course of the study only one badger developed clinical signs of disease: a subcutaneous swelling on its head, first observed at 18 weeks pi. At post-mortem examination gross and histological lesions of tuberculosis were observed and M. bovis was recovered from all, except one badger. In the majority of badgers the endobronchial route of inoculation resulted in the establishment of infection that over 24 weeks was non-progressive with limited dissemination of infection from the thoracic cavity, mainly to the hepatic and mesenteric lymph nodes. However, in one of the badgers examined at 18 weeks pi and one at 24 weeks pi, infection was widely disseminated. The disease induced by the endobronchial inoculation displayed the characteristics of disease observed in naturally infected badgers.
Corner, L A L; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; O'Meara, D; Sleeman, D P; Gormley, E
The aim was to develop an endobronchial infection procedure for the study of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers. The badgers were anaesthetised and a cannula was passed per os to the tracheal bifurcation. When in place 1 ml of M. bovis suspension was inoculated. Three concentrations of M. bovis suspension were used; <10 colony forming units (cfu), approximately 10(2) cfu and approximately 3 x 10(3) cfu. The badgers were examined at three weekly intervals for clinical signs of disease and a tracheal aspirate was collected at each examination. The badgers were euthanased 17 weeks post infection (pi) and at the post mortem examination a wide range of tissues were examined for gross and histopathological lesions of tuberculosis and cultured for M. bovis. A sample of bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected at post mortem for culture. At post mortem examination 17 weeks after infection, gross and histopathological lesions of tuberculosis were observed in all badgers inoculated with the high and medium dose and 1/3 inoculated with the low dose. M. bovis was recovered from all inoculated badgers. Infection in the high dose group was more widely disseminated than in the other groups. The number of sites with gross and histopathological lesions increased with increasing dose of M. bovis. All tracheal aspirates were negative on culture and only one BAL, collected from a badger of the high dose group, was positive on culture. No clinical signs due to the experimental infection were observed. The endobronchial route of inoculation is an effective route for establishing experimental infection, and could be used for studies of tuberculosis pathogenesis, immunology of M. bovis infection in badgers and for challenging badgers in vaccine protection studies. Badgers appeared to be very susceptible to infection by this procedure even with a dose of < 10 cfu but appear to control and limit the resulting infection.
Chambers, M A; Stagg, D; Gavier-Widén, D; Lowrie, D; Newell, D; Hewinson, R G
Nucleic acid (DNA) vaccination against tuberculosis in the European badger (Meles meles) is one approach to addressing the escalating problem of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain. The aim of vaccination is to reduce the burden of tuberculosis within the badger population and the shedding of Mycobacterium bovis to levels that would break the transmission of infection to cattle. To this end, the vaccine would be required to limit the amount of disseminated tuberculosis in the badger, especially dissemination to the kidney from where M. bovis can be shed in the urine. A promising candidate DNA vaccine encoding a 26 kDa major antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis was evaluated in a mouse model of disseminated M. bovis infection. Using the DNA vaccine, protection against infection of the kidney was found to be greater than that achieved with the current live vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). Kidney tissue and skeletal muscle from the badger was used to derive primary cell cultures in which to examine the expression of MPB83 following transfection with the DNA vaccine. Kidney cortex gave rise to a monotypic culture of epithelial cells whilst the muscle gave rise to a mixed culture of fibroblasts and myoblasts. During culture the myoblasts differentiated into multinucleated myotubes, verified by immunofluorescent detection of mammalian desmin. Successful expression of MPB83 by transfected epithelial and myotube cells was confirmed by immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antibody specific to the protein. These observations fulfil the early requirements for the development of a DNA vaccine for badger tuberculosis.
Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W; Pope, Lisa C; Burke, Terry
The costs and benefits of natal philopatry are central to the formation and maintenance of social groups. Badger groups, thought to form passively according to the resource dispersion hypothesis (RDH), are maintained through natal philopatry and delayed dispersal; however, there is minimal evidence for the functional benefits of such grouping. We assigned parentage to 630 badger cubs from a high-density population in Wytham Woods, Oxford, born between 1988 and 2005. Our methodological approach was different to previous studies; we used 22 microsatellite loci to assign parent pairs, which in combination with sibship inference provided a high parentage assignment rate. We assigned both parents to 331 cubs at > or = 95% confidence, revealing a polygynandrous mating system with up to five mothers and five fathers within a social group. We estimated that only 27% of adult males and 31% of adult females bred each year, suggesting a cost to group living for both sexes. Any strong motivation or selection to disperse, however, may be reduced because just under half of the paternities were gained by extra-group males, mainly from neighbouring groups, with males displaying a mixture of paternity strategies. We provide the strongest evidence to date for multiple-paternity litters, and for the first time show that within-group and extra-group males can sire cubs in the same litter. We investigate the factors that may play a role in determining the degree of delayed dispersal and conclude that the ecological constraints hypothesis, benefits of philopatry hypothesis, and life history hypothesis may all play a part, as proposed by the broad constraints hypothesis.
Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Sleeman, Paddy; Lyashchenko, Konstantin; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn
European badgers (Meles meles) are considered to be an important reservoir of infection for Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. Accurate tests are required for tuberculosis surveillance in badger populations and to provide a basis for the development of strategies, including vaccination, to reduce the incidence of the infection. In this study, we have developed an endobronchial M. bovis infection model in badgers in which we measured cell-mediated immune and serological responses for up to 24 weeks post-infection. Groups of badgers were subjected to necropsy at 6-week intervals and the gross lesion severity status compared with immune responses measured in blood samples taken throughout the course of the study. The panel of antigens included bovine and avian tuberculins (PPD) as well as single antigens, ESAT-6, CFP-10, MPB70, Rv3019c, Rv3873, Rv3878 and Rv3879, all known to be recognised by the immune system in other animal models of tuberculosis infection. Our results demonstrated that M. bovis infected badgers responded to specific antigens as early as 6 weeks post-infection, consistent with the presence of visible lesions. The data also revealed unique patterns of antigen recognition with high levels of PBMC proliferation in the presence of CFP-10 but low proliferation levels with ESAT-6. Using a multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), we were able to confirm that MPB83 is the dominant antigen recognised by serum antibodies in infected badgers.
Dalley, Deanna; Davé, Dipesh; Lesellier, Sandrine; Palmer, Simonette; Crawshaw, Timothy; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark
In this paper we report the development of a sensitive and specific assay for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) in European badgers (Meles meles), based on the stimulation of lymphocytes in whole-blood culture and the subsequent detection of gamma-interferon (IFNgamma) by sandwich ELISA. The comparative levels of IFNgamma produced to bovine and avian tuberculin (B-A) was used as the basis of determining the TB status of badgers, resulting in a more sensitive test than that based on the defined Mycobacterium bovis antigens ESAT6 and CFP10. The assay was evaluated using 235 badgers. The IFNgamma EIA (enzyme immunoassay) based on a monoclonal pair (mEIA) was more sensitive than one using a rabbit polyclonal antiserum (pEIA). At a specificity of 93.6%, the mEIA was 80.9% sensitive, compared to a sensitivity of 74.5% for the pEIA. At the same specificity as the EIA, the current serological ELISA test for TB in badgers (Brock test) had a sensitivity of 48.9%. Only one of the culture positive badgers missed by the mEIA was correctly diagnosed by the Brock test, suggesting that the combination of both a T-cell and serological test has little diagnostic advantage.
Noonan, Michael J; Rahman, M Abidur; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Macdonald, David W
The signal for climate change effects can be abstruse; consequently, interpretations of evidence must avoid verisimilitude, or else misattribution of causality could compromise policy decisions. Examining climatic effects on wild animal population dynamics requires ability to trap, observe or photograph and to recapture study individuals consistently. In this regard, we use 19 years of data (1994-2012), detailing the life histories on 1179 individual European badgers over 3288 (re-) trapping events, to test whether trapping efficiency was associated with season, weather variables (both contemporaneous and time lagged), body-condition index (BCI) and trapping efficiency (TE). PCA factor loadings demonstrated that TE was affected significantly by temperature and precipitation, as well as time lags in these variables. From multi-model inference, BCI was the principal driver of TE, where badgers in good condition were less likely to be trapped. Our analyses exposed that this was enacted mechanistically via weather variables driving BCI, affecting TE. Notably, the very conditions that militated for poor trapping success have been associated with actual survival and population abundance benefits in badgers. Using these findings to parameterize simulations, projecting best-/worst-case scenario weather conditions and BCI resulted in 8.6% ± 4.9 SD difference in seasonal TE, leading to a potential 55.0% population abundance under-estimation under the worst-case scenario; 38.6% over-estimation under the best case. Interestingly, simulations revealed that while any single trapping session might prove misrepresentative of the true population abundance, due to weather effects, prolonging capture-mark-recapture studies under sub-optimal conditions decreased the accuracy of population estimates significantly. We also use these projection scenarios to explore how weather could impact government-led trapping of badgers in the UK, in relation to TB management. We conclude that
Riordan, Philip; Delahay, Richard John; Cheeseman, Chris; Johnson, Paul James; Macdonald, David Whyte
In the UK, attempts since the 1970s to control the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle by culling a wildlife host, the European badger (Meles meles), have produced equivocal results. Culling-induced social perturbation of badger populations may lead to unexpected outcomes. We test predictions from the 'perturbation hypothesis', determining the impact of culling operations on badger populations, movement of surviving individuals and the influence on the epidemiology of bTB in badgers using data dervied from two study areas within the UK Government's Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). Culling operations did not remove all individuals from setts, with between 34-43% of badgers removed from targeted social groups. After culling, bTB prevalence increased in badger social groups neighbouring removals, particularly amongst cubs. Seventy individual adult badgers were fitted with radio-collars, yielding 8,311 locational fixes from both sites between November 2001 and December 2003. Home range areas of animals surviving within removed groups increased by 43.5% in response to culling. Overlap between summer ranges of individuals from Neighbouring social groups in the treatment population increased by 73.3% in response to culling. The movement rate of individuals between social groups was low, but increased after culling, in Removed and Neighbouring social groups. Increased bTB prevalence in Neighbouring groups was associated with badger movements both into and out of these groups, although none of the moving individuals themselves tested positive for bTB. Significant increases in both the frequency of individual badger movements between groups and the emergence of bTB were observed in response to culling. However, no direct evidence was found to link the two phenomena. We hypothesise that the social disruption caused by culling may not only increase direct contact and thus disease transmission between surviving badgers, but may also increase social stress
Heddergott, M; Frantz, A C; Jenrich, J; Müller, F
We examined 131 European badgers Meles meles (Linnaeus, 1758) from 67 localities in central Germany for the presence of the cranial trematode Troglotrema acutum, as previous studies based on museum skulls might have underestimated the prevalence of the parasite in this host. We detected the flatworm in only three individuals that originated from the Rhoen Mountains (Thurigina and Bavaria). While the cranium of one host individual showed the lesions and the sponge-like widening of certain regions of the skullcap that are typical of a T. acutum infection, the skulls of the two remaining badgers did not show any deformations. The three badgers were infected by eight, 20, and 49 T. acutum individuals, respectively. Eggs of the trematode parasite were detected in the paranasal sinuses of two badgers. While badgers infected with T. acutum may not show any surface bone lesions, the results of the present study do not contradict the conclusion that the badger is only an accidental host of T. acutum.
Byrne, Andrew W; Fogarty, Ursula; O'Keeffe, James; Newman, Chris
Variation in climatic and habitat conditions can affect populations through a variety of mechanisms, and these relationships can act at different temporal and spatial scales. Using post-mortem badger body weight records from 15 878 individuals captured across the Republic of Ireland (7224 setts across ca. 15 000 km(2) ; 2009-2012), we employed a hierarchical multilevel mixed model to evaluate the effects of climate (rainfall and temperature) and habitat quality (landscape suitability), while controlling for local abundance (unique badgers caught/sett/year). Body weight was affected strongly by temperature across a number of temporal scales (preceding month or season), with badgers being heavier if preceding temperatures (particularly during winter/spring) were warmer than the long-term seasonal mean. There was less support for rainfall across different temporal scales, although badgers did exhibit heavier weights when greater rainfall occurred one or 2 months prior to capture. Badgers were also heavier in areas with higher landscape habitat quality, modulated by the number of individuals captured per sett, consistent with density-dependent effects reducing weights. Overall, the mean badger body weight of culled individuals rose during the study period (2009-2012), more so for males than for females. With predicted increases in temperature, and rainfall, augmented by ongoing agricultural land conversion in this region, we project heavier individual badger body weights in the future. Increased body weight has been associated with higher fecundity, recruitment and survival rates in badgers, due to improved food availability and energetic budgets. We thus predict that climate change could increase the badger population across the Republic of Ireland. Nevertheless, we emphasize that, locally, populations could still be vulnerable to extreme weather variability coupled with detrimental agricultural practice, including population management.
Agnew, Roseanna C N; Smith, Valerie J; Fowkes, Robert C
A paucity of data exists with which to assess the effects of wind turbines noise on terrestrial wildlife, despite growing concern about the impact of infrasound from wind farms on human health and well-being. In 2013, we assessed whether the presence of turbines in Great Britain impacted the stress levels of badgers ( Meles meles ) in nearby setts. Hair cortisol levels were used to determine if the badgers were physiologically stressed. Hair of badgers living <1 km from a wind farm had a 264% higher cortisol level than badgers >10 km from a wind farm. This demonstrates that affected badgers suffer from enhanced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal activity and are physiologically stressed. No differences were found between the cortisol levels of badgers living near wind farms operational since 2009 and 2012, indicating that the animals do not become habituated to turbine disturbance. Cortisol levels in the affected badgers did not vary in relation to the distance from turbines within 1 km, wind farm annual power output, or number of turbines. We suggest that the higher cortisol levels in affected badgers is caused by the turbines' sound and that these high levels may affect badgers' immune systems, which could result in increased risk of infection and disease in the badger population.
Abramov, Alexei V; Puzachenko, Andrey Yu
The Eurasian badgers (Meles spp.) are widespread in the Palaearctic Region, occurring from the British Islands in the west to the Japanese Islands in the east, including the Scandinavia, Southwest Asia and southern China. The morphometric variation in 30 cranial characters of 692 skulls of Meles from across the Palaearctic was here analyzed. This craniometric analysis revealed a significant difference between the European and Asian badger phylogenetic lineages, which can be further split in two pairs of taxa: meles - canescens and leucurus - anakuma. Overall, European badger populations are very similar morphologically, particularly with regards to the skull shape, but differ notably from those from Asia Minor, the Middle East and Transcaucasia. Based on the current survey of badger specimens available in main world museums, we have recognized four distinctive, parapatric species: Meles meles, found in most of Europe; Meles leucurus from continental Asia; M. anakuma from Japan; and M. canescens from Southwest Asia and the mountains of Middle Asia. These results are in agreement with those based on recent molecular data analyses. The morphological peculiarities and distribution range of M. canescens are discussed. The origin and evolution of Meles species, which is yet poorly understood, is also briefly discussed.
Harasawa, Ryô; Orusa, Riccardo; Giangaspero, Massimo
We report detection of hemoplasma in wild Japanese badgers (Meles meles anakuma) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus). Sequence analysis of the entire 16S rRNA genes identified Mycoplasma haemocanis in the raccoon dog sample, and a potential novel Mycoplasma species in the Japanese badger.
Murphy, D; Gormley, E; Costello, E; O'Meara, D; Corner, L A L
The accurate diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers is key to understanding the epidemiology of tuberculosis in this species and has significant implications for devising strategies to limit spread of the disease. In this study, badgers (n=215) in the Republic of Ireland were examined at post mortem and tissues were collected from a range of anatomical locations and pooled into groups for bacterial culture of M. bovis. By assessing confirmed gross visible lesions (VL) alone, infection was detected in 12.1% of badgers. However, by including the results of all culture positive pooled samples, the overall infection prevalence increased significantly to 36.3%. Two-thirds (66.7%) of infected animals had no visible lesions (NVL). While the thoracic cavity (lungs and pulmonary lymph nodes) was found to be the most common site of infection, in a proportion of animals infection was absent from the lungs and draining lymph nodes and was confined to the lymph nodes of the carcase or the head. This may indicate an early extrapulmonary dissemination of infection or alternatively, in the case of the head lymph nodes, a secondary pathogenic pathway involving the lymphoid tissues of the upper respiratory tract (URT).
Odening, K; Stolte, M; Walter, G; Bockhardt, I
Three species of sarcocysts are described by light and electron microscopy from the European badger (Meles meles): Sarcocystis hofmanni n. sp. (a species otherwise occurring in roe deer, Capreolus capreolus), S. sp., cf. sebeki (c species usually parasitizing certain murids); and S. melis n. sp. (c species presumably specific for the badger).
Garnett, B T; Delahay, R J; Roper, T J
Nocturnal observations, radio telemetry and time-lapse camera surveillance were used to investigate visits by badgers (Meles meles L.) to two cattle farms. During 59 half-nights (ca. 295 h) of observation and 17 nights (ca. 154 h) of camera surveillance, 139 separate visits to farm buildings, by at least 26 individually identifiable badgers from two social groups, were recorded. The badgers, which included three individuals infected with bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), used cowsheds, feedsheds, barns, haystacks, slurry pits, cattle troughs and farmyards to exploit a range of food resources, including cattle feed and silage. Cattle feed was contaminated with badger faeces and badgers also came into close contact with cattle. The minimum number of badgers visiting farm buildings per night was negatively correlated with local 24 h rainfall. We conclude that exploitation by badgers of resources provided by cattle farms constitutes a potentially important mechanism for tuberculosis transmission from badgers to cattle.
Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Sleeman, Paddy; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Glyn Hewinson, R; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn
The Eurasian badger (Meles meles) is a wildlife reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis infection in Ireland and Great Britain and has been implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle. Vaccination of badgers is an option that could be used as part of a strategy to control the disease. In this study we used an endobronchial infection procedure to inoculate groups of badgers with three different doses (3x10(3), 2x10(2) and <10 Colony Forming Units (CFUs)) of M. bovis. After 17 weeks the disease status of each animal was determined by post-mortem pathology and culture for M. bovis. Each of the inoculum doses resulted in establishment of infection in the badgers. The cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were measured by lymphocyte transformation assay (LTA) of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) cultured with bovine tuberculin (PPD-B). In each infected group the CMI responses increased with a kinetic profile corresponding to the delivered dose and the post-mortem pathology. The serological responses were measured by ELISA and a multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA) in order to investigate any changes in the antigenic repertoire associated with different infective doses. In contrast to the CMI responses, the ELISA and MAPIA showed that the recognition of antigens by the badgers was intermittent and not strongly influenced by the dose of M. bovis.
Frantz, A C; Pope, L C; Etherington, T R; Wilson, G J; Burke, T
As the European badger (Meles meles) can be of conservation or management concern, it is important to have a good understanding of the species' dispersal ability. In particular, knowledge of landscape elements that affect dispersal can contribute to devising effective management strategies. However, the standard approach of using Bayesian clustering methods to correlate genetic discontinuities with landscape elements cannot easily be applied to this problem, as badger populations are often characterized by a strong confounding isolation-by-distance (IBD) pattern. We therefore developed a two-step method that compares the location of pairs of related badgers relative to a putative barrier and utilizes the expected spatial genetic structure characterized by IBD as a null model to test for the presence of a barrier. If a linear feature disrupts dispersal, the IBD pattern characterising pairs of individuals located on different sides of a putative barrier should differ significantly from the pattern obtained with pairs of individuals located on the same side. We used our new approach to assess the impact of rivers and roads of different sizes on badger dispersal in western England. We show that a large, wide river represented a barrier to badger dispersal and found evidence that a motorway may also restrict badger movement. Conversely, we did not find any evidence for small rivers and roads interfering with badger movement. One of the advantages of our approach is that potentially it can detect features that disrupt gene flow locally, without necessarily creating distinct identifiable genetic units.
A wild badger (Meles meles) with a severe nodular dermatitis was presented for post mortem examination. Numerous cutaneous granulomas with superficial ulceration were present especially on head, dorsum, and forearms were found at necropsy. Histopathological examination of the skin revealed a severe ...
George, Sheila C; Smith, Tessa E; Mac Cana, Pól S S; Coleman, Robert; Montgomery, William I
A method for monitoring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) to stressors was validated by measuring cortisol excretion in serum and faeces. Serum and faecal samples were collected under anaesthesia from live-captured, wild badgers and fresh faeces was collected from latrines at 15 social groups in County Down, Northern Ireland. Variation in levels of cortisol in wild badgers was investigated relative to disease status, season, age, sex, body mass, body condition and reproductive status and environmental factors that might influence stress. Faecal cortisol levels were significantly higher in animals testing culture-positive for Mycobacterium bovis. Prolonged elevation of cortisol can suppress immune function, which may have implications for disease transmission. There was a strong seasonal pattern in both serum cortisol, peaking in spring and faecal cortisol, peaking in summer. Cortisol levels were also higher in adults with poor body condition and low body mass. Faecal samples collected from latrines in grassland groups had significantly higher cortisol than those collected from woodland groups, possibly as a result of greater exposure to sources of environmental stress. This study is the first to investigate factors influencing physiological stress in badgers and indicates that serological and faecal excretion are valid indices of the HPA response to a range of stressors.
Vicente, J; Delahay, R J; Walker, N J; Cheeseman, C L
1. The culling of European badgers Meles meles has been a central part of attempts to control bovine tuberculosis (TB) in British cattle for many years. Recent results, however, indicate that this approach could in practice enhance disease spread. 2. This paper looks at the relationship between TB incidence and badger ecology in a high-density population in south-west England, which has been the subject of a long-term intensive study. The principal aims were to relate the probability of TB incidence, as detected by culture of clinical samples (i.e. excretion of bacilli), at the level of the individual and of the social group to demographic processes, movement, social organization and disease dynamics. 3. The probability of an individual being an incident case was greater in groups where TB was already present, although this was less influential in groups that were subject to some instability in numbers. Both individuals and groups were more likely to be incident cases where the social group was diminishing in size, although no relationship was observed with group size itself. This suggests that the process of group size reduction rather than group size per se has most influence on disease dynamics. The likelihood that either an individual or a group was an incident case was positively correlated with both individual and group-level movement. When the proportion of females in a social group was high, the positive association between movement and incidence was found to be more pronounced and there was a significantly higher probability of incident cases among males. 4. These relationships highlight the importance of social structure in driving TB transmission dynamics in this stable, high-density badger population. The results support the idea that a stable social structure mitigates against new incident cases of disease, and are consistent with the contention that badger culling may create the social circumstances for enhanced transmission of TB.
Hidaka, S; Matsumoto, M; Ohsako, S; Toyoshima, Y; Nishinakagawa, H
To obtain the data required for identification of skeletal remains excavated from archaeological sites, histometrical observations were made in the cross sections of the mid-shaft of humerus, radius, femur and tibia of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and badgers (Meles meles) captured in Kagoshima Prefecture. There were interspecific differences between both animals in the breadth, the depth and the area of medullary cavity at the mid-shaft of the bones, all measurements were greater in male than in female bones. The thickness and the area of compact bones in male raccoon dogs were larger than those of female. No differences in histological structure could be detected among the bones, but an interspecific difference was found in the shape of osteons; round and constant-sized osteons consisting of 3 to 5 lamellae in raccoon dogs, while round or elliptic osteons varying in size from 3 to 8 lamellae in badgers. The ratios, the osteon areas per unit compact bone areas, were higher in all the bones of raccoon dogs. The short diameters of osteons and the ratios were greater in males in both animals. In females, the short diameter of osteons was smaller, and the number of osteons was larger. The results revealed interspecific differences between both animals and sexual dimorphism in each species.
Moskwa, Bożena; Goździk, Katarzyna; Bień, Justyna; Bogdaszewski, Marek; Cabaj, Władysław
Trichinella larvae were detected in a marten (Martes martes) and a badger (Meles meles) in Poland. The animals were found dead following car accidents. All examined animals derived from the Mazurian Lake district, north-east Poland, near the village Kosewo Górne where Trichinella infection were earlier confirmed in wildlife; red foxes and wild boars. The muscle samples were examined by artificial pepsin-HCl digestion method. The parasites were identified as Trichinella britovi by multiplex polymerase chain reaction method. Larvae were found in two out of three martens and one out of seven examined badgers. This is the first report of the identification of Trichinella britovi larvae from martens and badgers in Poland.
Corner, Leigh A L; Costello, Eamon; O'Meara, Damien; Lesellier, Sandrine; Aldwell, Frank E; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark A; Gormley, Eamonn
Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. The development of a vaccine for use in badgers is considered a key element of any long-term sustainable campaign to eradicate the disease from livestock in both countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective response of badgers vaccinated orally with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) encapsulated in a lipid formulation, followed by experimental challenge with M. bovis. A group of badgers was vaccinated by inoculating the BCG-lipid mixture containing approximately 10(8)colony forming units (cfu) of BCG into the oesophagus. The control group was sham inoculated with the lipid formulation only. Thirteen weeks after vaccination all the badgers were challenged with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis delivered by endobronchial inoculation. Blood samples were taken throughout the study and the cell mediated immune (CMI) responses in peripheral blood were monitored by the IFN-gamma ELISA and ELISPOT assay. At 17 weeks after infection all the badgers were examined post-mortem to assess the pathological and bacteriological responses to challenge. All badgers in both groups were found to be infected. However, a significant protective effect of BCG vaccination was measured as a decrease in the number and severity of gross lesions, lower bacterial load in the lungs, and fewer sites of infection. The analysis of immune responses showed that vaccination with BCG did not generate any detectable CMI immunological responses, however the levels of the responses increased in both groups following M. bovis infection. The results of the study showed that vaccination with oral BCG in the lipid formulation generated a protective effect in the badgers.
Burtscher, Hugo; Url, Angelika
An approximately 1.5-yr-old free-ranging male Eurasian badger (Meles meles) from the eastern part of Austria had macroscopic and microscopic lesions consistent with canine distemper virus infection, including nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis, interstitial pneumonia with accumulation of macrophages in alveoli that contained intranuclear inclusion bodies, vesicular exanthema of the ventral abdomen, and atrophy of lymphoid tissues. Canine distemper virus-antigen was demonstrable in a variety of organs by using immunohistology. In addition, there were widespread areas of fibrosis in the myocardium that were rich in collagen and paucicellular. Because such changes are comparable with sequelae of the acute cardiac form of canine parvovirus (CPV) infection in dogs, it was speculated that this badger may have experienced CPV myocarditis as a cub but that the corresponding antigen or DNA was not detectable due to resolution of the disease.
Lesellier, Sandrine; Palmer, Si; Gowtage-Sequiera, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, F Javier; Nunez, Alejandro; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A L; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark A
Mycobacterium bovis infection is widespread in Eurasian badger (Meles meles) populations in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland where they act as a wildlife reservoir of infection for cattle. Removal of infected badgers can significantly reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in local cattle herds. However, control measures based on culling of native wildlife are contentious and may even be detrimental to disease control. Vaccinating badgers with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been shown to be efficacious against experimentally induced TB of badgers when administered subcutaneously and orally. Vaccination may be an alternative or complementary strategy to other disease control measures. As the subcutaneous route is impractical for vaccinating wild badgers and an oral vaccine bait formulation is currently unavailable, we evaluated the intramuscular (IM) route of BCG administration. It has been demonstrated that the IM route is safe in badgers. IM administration has the practical advantage of being relatively easy to perform on trapped wild badgers without recourse to chemical immobilisation. We report the evaluation of the efficacy of IM administration of BCG Danish strain 1331 at two different doses: the dose prescribed for adult humans (2-8×10(5)colony forming units) and a 10-fold higher dose. Vaccination generated a dose-dependent cell-mediated immune response characterised by the production of interferon-γ (IFNγ) and protection against endobronchial challenge with virulent M. bovis. Protection, expressed in terms of a significant reduction in the severity of disease, the number of tissues containing acid-fast bacilli, and reduced bacterial excretion was statistically significant with the higher dose only.
Buesching, Christina Dagmar; Heistermann, Michael; Macdonald, David W
Elevated testosterone levels can lower condition and increase parasites. We analysed testosterone in 84 blood samples of wild European badgers Meles meles collected at regular intervals (winter = mating season; spring = end of mating season; summer = minor mating peak; autumn = reproductive quiescence), and related variation to body condition, subcaudal gland secretion, parasite burden, and bite wounding. All males showed elevated levels in winter and low levels in autumn. In neither season did testosterone correlate with fitness-related parameters. However, two different endocrinological phenotypes existed in spring and summer. Whilst some males lowered their testosterone to levels comparable to autumnal quiescence (Type 1), others maintained elevated levels comparable to those during winter (Type 2). In spring and summer high levels were correlated with lower body condition and increased parasite burden, and Type 2 males tended to suffer higher mortality rates than Type 1. No animals older than 6 years adopted phenotype 2, indicating that males either switch phenotypes with age or that Type 2 results in lower life expectancy, evidencing the costs of male reproduction in badgers.
Di Sabatino, Daria; Di Francesco, Gabriella; Zaccaria, Guendalina; Malatesta, Daniela; Brugnola, Luca; Marcacci, Maurilia; Portanti, Ottavio; De Massis, Fabrizio; Savini, Giovanni; Teodori, Liana; Ruggieri, Enzo; Mangone, Iolanda; Badagliacca, Pietro; Lorusso, Alessio
Canine distemper virus (CDV) represents an important conservation threat to many wild carnivores. A large distemper epidemic sustained by an Arctic-lineage strain occurred in Italy in 2013, mainly in the Abruzzi region, causing overt disease in domestic and shepherd dogs, Apennine wolves (Canis lupus) and other wild carnivores. Two badgers were collected by the end of September 2015 in a rural area of the Abruzzi region and were demonstrated to be CDV-positive by real time RT-PCR and IHC in several tissues. The genome of CDV isolates from badgers showed Y549H substitution in the mature H protein. By employing all publicly available Arctic-lineage H protein encoding gene sequences, six amino acid changes in recent Italian strains with respect to Italian strains of dogs from 2000 to 2008, were observed. A CDV strain belonging to the European-wildlife lineage was also identified in a fox found dead in the same region in 2016, proving co-circulation of an additional CDV lineage.
Reeve, John D; Frantz, Alain C; Dawson, Deborah A; Burke, Terry; Roper, Timothy J
1. Urban and rural populations of animals can differ in their behaviour, both in order to meet their ecological requirements and due to the constraints imposed by different environments. The study of urban populations can therefore offer useful insights into the behavioural flexibility of a species as a whole, as well as indicating how the species in question adapts to a specifically urban environment. 2. The genetic structure of a population can provide information about social structure and movement patterns that is difficult to obtain by other means. Using non-invasively collected hair samples, we estimated the population size of Eurasian badgers Meles meles in the city of Brighton, England, and calculated population-specific parameters of genetic variability and sex-specific rates of outbreeding and dispersal. 3. Population density was high in the context of badger densities reported throughout their range. This was due to a high density of social groups rather than large numbers of individuals per group. 4. The allelic richness of the population was low compared with other British populations. However, the rate of extra-group paternity and the relatively frequent (mainly temporary) intergroup movements suggest that, on a local scale, the population was outbred. Although members of both sexes visited other groups, there was a trend for more females to make intergroup movements. 5. The results reveal that urban badgers can achieve high densities and suggest that while some population parameters are similar between urban and rural populations, the frequency of intergroup movements is higher among urban badgers. In a wider context, these results demonstrate the ability of non-invasive genetic sampling to provide information about the population density, social structure and behaviour of urban wildlife.
Balseiro, Ana; Rodríguez, Oscar; González-Quirós, Pablo; Merediz, Isabel; Sevilla, Iker A; Davé, Dipesh; Dalley, Deanna J; Lesellier, Sandrine; Chambers, Mark A; Bezos, Javier; Muñoz, Marta; Delahay, Richard J; Gortázar, Christian; Prieto, José M
The prevalence, distribution and pathology related to infection with Mycobacterium bovis and other mycobacteria were determined in trapped (n=36) and road-killed (n=121) badgers in Spain from 2006 to 2010. The prevalence of M. bovis based on bacteriological culture from road-killed badgers was 8/121 (6.6%) and from trapped badgers was 0/36 (0%). Tuberculosis/M. bovis infection was evident in 15/121 (12.4%) road-killed badgers when bacteriology and histopathology were combined. Mycobacterium avium complex was isolated by culture from the tracheal aspirate of 1/36 (2.8%) trapped badgers and from tissue pools from 8/121 (6.6%) road-killed badgers.
Young, Alexandria; Márquez-Grant, Nicholas; Stillman, Richard; Smith, Martin J; Korstjens, Amanda H
Within northwest Europe, especially the United Kingdom, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) are the largest wild scavengers capable of modifying a set of remains through scavenging. Knowledge of region-specific and species-typical scavenging behaviors of scavengers within the crime scene area and surroundings can aid in more efficient and accurate interpretations. The scavenging behaviors of captive and wild foxes and badgers were recorded and compared through actualistic methods and direct observation. The scavenging by wild foxes and badgers of surface-deposited baits and whole deer (Cervus nippon; Capreolus capreolus) in a woodland was observed and analyzed. Wild foxes were found to scavenge deer more frequently than badgers. The scavenging of deer remains by foxes was also compared with forensic cases. The scavenging pattern and recovery distances of deer and human remains scavenged by foxes were similar but were potentially affected by the condition and deposition of a body, and the presence of clothing.
Delahay, R J; Walker, N; Smith, G C; Smith, G S; Wilkinson, D; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Cheeseman, C L; Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A
We describe epidemiological trends in Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed wild badger (Meles meles) population. Data were derived from the capture, clinical sampling and serological testing of 1803 badgers over 9945 capture events spanning 24 years. Incidence and prevalence increased over time, exhibiting no simple relationship with host density. Potential explanations are presented for a marked increase in the frequency of positive serological test results. Transmission rates (R0) estimated from empirical data were consistent with modelled estimates and robust to changes in test sensitivity and the spatial extent of the population at risk. The risk of a positive culture or serological test result increased with badger age, and varied seasonally. Evidence consistent with progressive disease was found in cubs. This study demonstrates the value of long-term data and the repeated application of imperfect diagnostic tests as indices of infection to reveal epidemiological trends in M. bovis infection in badgers.
Balseiro, Ana; González-Quirós, Pablo; Rodríguez, Óscar; Francisca Copano, M; Merediz, Isabel; de Juan, Lucía; Chambers, Mark A; Delahay, Richard J; Marreros, Nelson; Royo, Luis J; Bezos, Javier; Prieto, José M; Gortázar, Christian
Recent studies suggest that badgers may be a potential reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection for cattle in Northern Spain. The objective of this study was to investigate potential epidemiological links between cattle and badgers. Culture and molecular typing data were available for cattle culled during the national tuberculosis (TB) eradication campaigns between 2008 and 2012, as well as from 171 necropsied badgers and 60 live animals trapped and examined over the same time period. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains were isolated from pooled tissues of 14 (8.2%) necropsied badgers, of which 11 were identified as M. bovis: six different spoligotypes of M. bovis were subsequently identified. In two geographical locations where these isolates were shared between cattle and badgers, infected cattle herds and badgers lived in close contact. Although it remains unclear if badgers are a maintenance or spill-over host of M. bovis in this setting, it would appear prudent to have precautionary measures in place to reduce contact between cattle and badgers.
Murphy, Denise; Costello, Eamon; Aldwell, Frank E; Lesellier, Sandrine; Chambers, Mark A; Fitzsimons, Tara; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn
Vaccination of badgers by the subcutaneous, mucosal and oral routes with the Pasteur strain of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has resulted in significant protection against experimental infection with virulent M. bovis. However, as the BCG Danish strain is the only commercially licensed BCG vaccine for use in humans in the European Union it is the vaccine of choice for delivery to badger populations. As all oral vaccination studies in badgers were previously conducted using the BCG Pasteur strain, this study compared protection in badgers following oral vaccination with the Pasteur and the Danish strains. Groups of badgers were vaccinated orally with 10(8) colony forming units (CFU) BCG Danish 1331 (n = 7 badgers) or 10(8) CFU BCG Pasteur 1173P2 (n = 6). Another group (n = 8) served as non-vaccinated controls. At 12 weeks post-vaccination, the animals were challenged by the endobronchial route with 6 × 10(3) CFU M. bovis, and at 15 weeks post-infection, all of the badgers were euthanased. Vaccination with either BCG strain provided protection against challenge compared with controls. The vaccinated badgers had significantly fewer sites with gross pathology and significantly lower gross pathological severity scores, fewer sites with histological lesions and fewer sites of infection, significantly lower bacterial counts in the thoracic lymph node, and lower bacterial counts in the lungs than the control group. No differences were observed between either of the vaccine groups by any of the pathology and bacteriology measures. The ELISPOT analysis, measuring production of badger interferon - gamma (IFN-γ), was also similar across the vaccinated groups.
Rogers, L M; Delahay, R; Cheeseman, C L; Langton, S; Smith, G C; Clifton-Hadley, R S
The movement of 1763 badgers trapped between 36 social groups in Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, over 18 years was analysed to determine the frequency and duration of moves, the factors associated with a predisposition to move and the spatial pattern of movements. Of those badgers whose capture history could be categorized, nearly half had moved. Of these, 73.1% were classified as 'occasional movers', 22.1% as 'permanent movers' and 4.8% as 'frequent movers'. Most adult badgers that moved made occasional moves (78.8%, n = 67). Cubs made all types of move including permanent moves (29%, n = 10). Seventy per cent of females were non-movers compared with 37% of males. Badgers were significantly more likely to move to smaller groups, whereas male badgers were significantly more likely to move to groups with a greater proportion of females. The spatial pattern of movement differed from the distribution of groups with bovine tuberculosis in the study area. However, temporal changes in movement were significantly related to the incidence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the following year, indicating that as the movement of badgers between groups varies so does the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in the population. This finding is of central importance in the formulation of badger control policy. PMID:9718736
Balseiro, Ana; Merediz, Isabel; Sevilla, Iker A; García-Castro, Carmen; Gortázar, Christian; Prieto, José M; Delahay, Richard J
There are few reports of infection with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria in badgers. In this study archive data relating to the isolation of MAC organisms from badgers in the UK is presented, and information derived from recent cases of such infection in Spain is used to illustrate the associated pathology and to characterise strain types. Tissue samples were cultured for mycobacteria and, in the case of Spanish badgers, were examined both histopathologically and using immunohistochemistry, and DNA typing of M. avium isolates was also carried out. A total of 5 (7.35%) and 281 (0.51%) isolates of M. avium spp. were recovered from badgers from the studies in Spain and the UK, respectively. DNA typing of the isolates from Spain identified the sub-species M. avium hominissuis and M. avium avium. These findings provide new information on the prevalence of MAC organisms in badgers in the UK and Spain. The extent to which infected badgers may be involved in the epidemiology of M. avium in other wild or domestic hosts remains unknown.
Robertson, Andrew; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A; Aylett, Paul; Henderson, Ray; Gowtage, Sonya; Chambers, Mark A; Carter, Stephen P
In the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the European badger (Meles meles) is a maintenance host for Mycobacterium bovis, and may transmit the infection to cattle causing bovine tuberculosis (TB). Vaccination of badgers using an injectable Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is undertaken in some areas of the UK with the intention of interrupting this transmission, and vaccination research is underway in Ireland. An oral badger TB vaccine is also under development. We investigated the behaviour of badgers and non-target wildlife species towards three candidate baits being considered for delivering BCG to badgers orally. Bait preference was investigated by recording removal rates of baits and through the use of video surveillance at 16 badger setts. We found high variation in rates of bait removal by badgers among setts but no significant differences in removal rates among bait types or in preference behaviour from video footage. Variation in bait removal among setts correlated with the number of nights on which badgers were seen at the sett, with most baits being removed where badgers were seen on >50% of nights during the ten-day study period. Relatively few baits were removed at setts with low levels of recorded badger activity. Monitoring badger activity prior to bait deployment may therefore be useful in increasing bait uptake and vaccine coverage. Bait removal by badgers increased over the ten-day study period, suggesting initial neophobic behaviour at some setts and that a period of 'pre-feeding' may be required prior to vaccine deployment. Our results indicate that all three candidate baits are attractive to badgers. Removal of baits by non-target wildlife species was generally low, but varied among bait types, with smaller baits in packaging less likely to be removed. Enclosing baits in packaging is likely to deter non-target species, although in some cases non-target species did remove up to 13% of packaged baits.
King, Hayley C; Murphy, Andrew; James, Phillip; Travis, Emma; Porter, David; Hung, Yu-Jiun; Sawyer, Jason; Cork, Jennifer; Delahay, Richard J; Gaze, William; Courtenay, Orin; Wellington, Elizabeth M
The incidence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis, has been increasing in UK cattle herds resulting in substantial economic losses. The European badger (Meles meles) is implicated as a wildlife reservoir of infection. One likely route of transmission to cattle is through exposure to infected badger urine and faeces. The relative importance of the environment in transmission remains unknown, in part due to the lack of information on the distribution and magnitude of environmental reservoirs. Here we identify potential infection hotspots in the badger population and quantify the heterogeneity in bacterial load; with infected badgers shedding between 1 × 10(3)- 4 × 10(5) M. bovis cells g(-1) of faeces, creating a substantial and seasonally variable environmental reservoir. Our findings highlight the potential importance of monitoring environmental reservoirs of M. bovis which may constitute a component of disease spread that is currently overlooked and yet may be responsible for a proportion of transmission amongst badgers and onwards to cattle.
Weber, Nicola; Carter, Stephen P; Dall, Sasha R X; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Jennifer L; Bearhop, Stuart; McDonald, Robbie A
Although disease hosts are classically assumed to interact randomly , infection is likely to spread across structured and dynamic contact networks . We used social network analyses to investigate contact patterns of group-living European badgers, Meles meles, which are an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (TB). We found that TB test-positive badgers were socially isolated from their own groups but were more important for flow, potentially of infection, between social groups. The distinctive social position of infected badgers may help explain how social stability mitigates, and social perturbation increases, the spread of infection in badgers.
Byrne, Andrew W; Quinn, John L; O'Keeffe, James J; Green, Stuart; Sleeman, D Paddy; Martin, S Wayne; Davenport, John
Characterizing patterns of animal movement is a major aim in population ecology, and yet doing so at an appropriate spatial scale remains a major challenge. Estimating the frequency and distances of movements is of particular importance when species are implicated in the transmission of zoonotic diseases. European badgers (Meles meles) are classically viewed as exhibiting limited dispersal, and yet their movements bring them into conflict with farmers due to their potential to spread bovine tuberculosis in parts of their range. Considerable uncertainty surrounds the movement potential of badgers, and this may be related to the spatial scale of previous empirical studies. We conducted a large-scale mark-recapture study (755 km(2); 2008-2012; 1935 capture events; 963 badgers) to investigate movement patterns in badgers, and undertook a comparative meta-analysis using published data from 15 European populations. The dispersal movement (>1 km) kernel followed an inverse power-law function, with a substantial 'tail' indicating the occurrence of rare long-distance dispersal attempts during the study period. The mean recorded distance from this distribution was 2.6 km, the 95 percentile was 7.3 km and the longest recorded was 22.1 km. Dispersal frequency distributions were significantly different between genders; males dispersed more frequently than females, but females made proportionally more long-distance dispersal attempts than males. We used a subsampling approach to demonstrate that the appropriate minimum spatial scale to characterize badger movements in our study population was 80 km(2), substantially larger than many previous badger studies. Furthermore, the meta-analysis indicated a significant association between maximum movement distance and study area size, while controlling for population density. Maximum long-distance movements were often only recorded by chance beyond the boundaries of study areas. These findings suggest that the tail of the badger
Jones, R M; Ashford, R; Cork, J; Palmer, S; Wood, E; Spyvee, P; Parks, S; Bennett, A; Brewer, J; Delahay, R; Chambers, M; Sawyer, J
Environmental air sampling was evaluated as a method to detect the presence of M. bovis in the vicinity of infected badgers and their setts. Airborne particles were collected on gelatine filters using a commercially available air sampling instrument and tested for the presence of M. bovis using bacteriological culture and real-time PCR. The sensitivity of bacteriological culture was broadly similar to that of real-time PCR when testing samples artificially spiked with M. bovis. Sampling was undertaken from directly under the muzzles of badgers which had been experimentally infected with M. bovis (37 samples), within enclosures housing the experimentally infected animals (50 samples), and in the vicinity of setts with resident infected wild badgers (52 samples). The methods employed did not detect M. bovis from either infected badgers or artificial or natural setts known to contain infected animals. However, samples taken at four of the six natural setts were positive for Mycobacterium gordonae.
Chambers, Mark A; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; James, Eurig; Barker, Leslie; Jones, Jeff; Watkins, Gavin; Rolfe, Simon
Between October 2005 and May 2006, a total of 727 badgers found dead in Wales were reported, and 550 were delivered to the Regional Laboratories of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). Of the 459 carcasses suitable for examination, 55 were deemed to be infected with Mycobacterium bovis on the basis of culture, spoligotyping, and variable-number tandem repeat typing. Acid-fast bacteria were observed histologically in a further six badgers, but these bacteria were not confirmed as M. bovis by culture. A rapid serological test (BrockTB Stat-Pak) performed on thoracic blood showed a sensitivity of 35% and a specificity of 99%. Presence of M. bovis infection was 45 times more likely to be confirmed postmortem by culture in BrockTB Stat-Pak-reactive animals than in seronegative ones. Using visible carcass lesions as a marker of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) infection had a similar sensitivity (38%) but was significantly less specific (84%) than serology. The overall accuracy of the antibody detection was 93% (346 correct results from 374 tests), whereas the accuracy of regarding visible lesions as a marker for bTB infection was 78% (354 correct from 453 carcasses examined). Culture remains the gold standard method for detecting M. bovis infection in badgers. However, where resources are limited and/or an instant result is preferred, the BrockTB Stat-Pak could be used in field surveillance efforts to identify animals which should be examined further by only submitting test-negative animals to more detailed postmortem examination and culture.
Lizundia, Regina; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Ngugi, Daniel; Blake, Damer; Sin, Yung Wa; Macdonald, David W; Wilson, Alan; McKeever, Declan
We investigated the epidemiology of Trypanosoma pestanai infection in European badgers (Meles meles) from Wytham Woods (Oxfordshire, UK) to determine prevalence rates and to identify the arthropod vector responsible for transmission. A total of 245 badger blood samples was collected during September and November 2009 and examined by PCR using primers derived from the 18S rRNA of T. pestanai. The parasite was detected in blood from 31% of individuals tested. T. pestanai was isolated from primary cultures of Wytham badger peripheral blood mononuclear cells and propagated continually in vitro. This population was compared with cultures of two geographically distinct isolates of the parasite by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and PCR analysis of 18S rDNA and ITS1 sequences. High levels of genotypic polymorphism were observed between the isolates. PCR analysis of badger fleas (Paraceras melis) collected from infected individuals at Wytham indicated the presence of T. pestanai and this was confirmed by examination of dissected specimens. Wet smears and Giemsa-stained preparations from dissected fleas revealed large numbers of trypanosome-like forms in the hindgut, some of which were undergoing binary fission. We conclude that P. melis is the primary vector of T. pestanai in European badgers.
Uni, Shigehiko; Bain, Odile; Suzuki, Kazuo; Agatsuma, Takeshi; Harada, Masashi; Motokawa, Masaharu; Martin, Coralie; Lefoulon, Emilie; Fukuda, Masako; Takaoka, Hiroyuki
Acanthocheilonema delicata n. sp. (Filarioidea: Onchocercidae: Onchocercinae) is described based on adult filarioids and microfilariae obtained from subcutaneous connective tissues and skin, respectively, of Japanese badgers (Meles anakuma) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. No endemic species of the genus had been found in Japan. Recently, some filarioids (e.g., Acanthocheilonema reconditum, Dirofilaria spp., and Onchocerca spp.) have come to light as causative agents of zoonosis worldwide. The new species was readily distinguished from its congeners by morphologic characteristics such as body length, body width, esophagus length, spicule length, and the length of microfilariae. Based on the molecular data of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene, A. delicata n. sp. was included in the clade of the genus Acanthocheilonema but differed from two other congeneric species available for study, A. viteae and A. reconditum. Acanthocheilonema delicata n. sp. did not harbor Wolbachia. It is likely that the fauna of filarioids from mammals on the Japanese islands is characterized by a high level of endemicity.
Sin, Yung Wa; Newman, Chris; Dugdale, Hannah L.; Buesching, Christina; Mannarelli, Maria-Elena; Annavi, Geetha; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W.
The innate immune system provides the primary vertebrate defence system against pathogen invasion, but it is energetically costly and can have immune pathological effects. A previous study in sticklebacks found that intermediate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity correlated with a lower leukocyte coping capacity (LCC), compared to individuals with fewer, or many, MHC alleles. The organization of the MHC genes in mammals, however, differs to the highly duplicated MHC genes in sticklebacks by having far fewer loci. Using European badgers (Meles meles), we therefore investigated whether innate immune activity, estimated functionally as the ability of an individual’s leukocytes to produce a respiratory burst, was influenced by MHC diversity. We also investigated whether LCC was influenced by factors such as age-class, sex, body condition, season, year, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and intensity of infection with five different pathogens. We found that LCC was not associated with specific MHC haplotypes, MHC alleles, or MHC diversity, indicating that the innate immune system did not compensate for the adaptive immune system even when there were susceptible MHC alleles/haplotypes, or when the MHC diversity was low. We also identified a seasonal and annual variation of LCC. This temporal variation of innate immunity was potentially due to physiological trade-offs or temporal variation in pathogen infections. The innate immunity, estimated as LCC, does not compensate for MHC diversity suggests that the immune system may function differently between vertebrates with different MHC organizations, with implications for the evolution of immune systems in different taxa. PMID:27695089
Sin, Yung Wa; Newman, Chris; Dugdale, Hannah L; Buesching, Christina; Mannarelli, Maria-Elena; Annavi, Geetha; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W
The innate immune system provides the primary vertebrate defence system against pathogen invasion, but it is energetically costly and can have immune pathological effects. A previous study in sticklebacks found that intermediate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity correlated with a lower leukocyte coping capacity (LCC), compared to individuals with fewer, or many, MHC alleles. The organization of the MHC genes in mammals, however, differs to the highly duplicated MHC genes in sticklebacks by having far fewer loci. Using European badgers (Meles meles), we therefore investigated whether innate immune activity, estimated functionally as the ability of an individual's leukocytes to produce a respiratory burst, was influenced by MHC diversity. We also investigated whether LCC was influenced by factors such as age-class, sex, body condition, season, year, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and intensity of infection with five different pathogens. We found that LCC was not associated with specific MHC haplotypes, MHC alleles, or MHC diversity, indicating that the innate immune system did not compensate for the adaptive immune system even when there were susceptible MHC alleles/haplotypes, or when the MHC diversity was low. We also identified a seasonal and annual variation of LCC. This temporal variation of innate immunity was potentially due to physiological trade-offs or temporal variation in pathogen infections. The innate immunity, estimated as LCC, does not compensate for MHC diversity suggests that the immune system may function differently between vertebrates with different MHC organizations, with implications for the evolution of immune systems in different taxa.
Gormley, Eamonn; Ní Bhuachalla, Deirdre; O'Keeffe, James; Murphy, Denise; Aldwell, Frank E; Fitzsimons, Tara; Stanley, Paul; Tratalos, Jamie A; McGrath, Guy; Fogarty, Naomi; Kenny, Kevin; More, Simon J; Messam, Locksley L McV; Corner, Leigh A L
A field trial was conducted to investigate the impact of oral vaccination of free-living badgers against natural-transmitted Mycobacterium bovis infection. For a period of three years badgers were captured over seven sweeps in three zones and assigned for oral vaccination with a lipid-encapsulated BCG vaccine (Liporale-BCG) or with placebo. Badgers enrolled in Zone A were administered placebo while all badgers enrolled in Zone C were vaccinated with BCG. Badgers enrolled in the middle area, Zone B, were randomly assigned 50:50 for treatment with vaccine or placebo. Treatment in each zone remained blinded until the end of the study period. The outcome of interest was incident cases of tuberculosis measured as time to seroconversion events using the BrockTB Stat-Pak lateral flow serology test, supplemented with post-mortem examination. Among the vaccinated badgers that seroconverted, the median time to seroconversion (413 days) was significantly longer (p = 0.04) when compared with non-vaccinated animals (230 days). Survival analysis (modelling time to seroconversion) revealed that there was a significant difference in the rate of seroconversion between vaccinated and non-vaccinated badgers in Zones A and C throughout the trial period (p = 0.015). For badgers enrolled during sweeps 1-2 the Vaccine Efficacy (VE) determined from hazard rate ratios was 36% (95% CI: -62%- 75%). For badgers enrolled in these zones during sweeps 3-6, the VE was 84% (95% CI: 29%- 97%). This indicated that VE increased with the level of vaccine coverage. Post-mortem examination of badgers at the end of the trial also revealed a significant difference in the proportion of animals presenting with M. bovis culture confirmed lesions in vaccinated Zone C (9%) compared with non-vaccinated Zone A (26%). These results demonstrate that oral BCG vaccination confers protection to badgers and could be used to reduce incident rates in tuberculosis-infected populations of badgers.
Gormley, Eamonn; Ní Bhuachalla, Deirdre; O’Keeffe, James; Murphy, Denise; Aldwell, Frank E.; Fitzsimons, Tara; Stanley, Paul; Tratalos, Jamie A.; McGrath, Guy; Fogarty, Naomi; Kenny, Kevin; More, Simon J.; Messam, Locksley L. McV.; Corner, Leigh A. L.
A field trial was conducted to investigate the impact of oral vaccination of free-living badgers against natural-transmitted Mycobacterium bovis infection. For a period of three years badgers were captured over seven sweeps in three zones and assigned for oral vaccination with a lipid-encapsulated BCG vaccine (Liporale-BCG) or with placebo. Badgers enrolled in Zone A were administered placebo while all badgers enrolled in Zone C were vaccinated with BCG. Badgers enrolled in the middle area, Zone B, were randomly assigned 50:50 for treatment with vaccine or placebo. Treatment in each zone remained blinded until the end of the study period. The outcome of interest was incident cases of tuberculosis measured as time to seroconversion events using the BrockTB Stat-Pak lateral flow serology test, supplemented with post-mortem examination. Among the vaccinated badgers that seroconverted, the median time to seroconversion (413 days) was significantly longer (p = 0.04) when compared with non-vaccinated animals (230 days). Survival analysis (modelling time to seroconversion) revealed that there was a significant difference in the rate of seroconversion between vaccinated and non-vaccinated badgers in Zones A and C throughout the trial period (p = 0.015). For badgers enrolled during sweeps 1–2 the Vaccine Efficacy (VE) determined from hazard rate ratios was 36% (95% CI: -62%– 75%). For badgers enrolled in these zones during sweeps 3–6, the VE was 84% (95% CI: 29%– 97%). This indicated that VE increased with the level of vaccine coverage. Post-mortem examination of badgers at the end of the trial also revealed a significant difference in the proportion of animals presenting with M. bovis culture confirmed lesions in vaccinated Zone C (9%) compared with non-vaccinated Zone A (26%). These results demonstrate that oral BCG vaccination confers protection to badgers and could be used to reduce incident rates in tuberculosis-infected populations of badgers. PMID:28121981
Byrne, A W; Kenny, K; Fogarty, U; O'Keeffe, J J; More, S J; McGrath, G; Teeling, M; Martin, S W; Dohoo, I R
Badgers are a wildlife host of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), and an important contributor to the epidemiology of bTB in cattle in Ireland and Britain. Repeated culling of badgers in high prevalence cattle bTB areas has been used in the Republic of Ireland as one tool to reduce intra- and interspecific transmission of M. bovis. We assessed factors that influenced infection prevalence of culled badgers from 2009 to 2012 (n=4948) where spatial, temporal and intrinsic factor data were available using multivariable modelling. Prevalence appeared higher in western areas than eastern areas of Ireland and badgers were more likely to be test-positive if caught at a sett (burrow system) which was close to other infected setts (spatial clustering of infection). There was a significant positive association between badger test-status and cattle prevalence of M. bovis infection at a spatial scale of 1km around setts. Badgers were more likely to be deemed test positive if they were male (OR: 1.9) or a parous female (OR: 1.7), compared to a female who had never conceived. Our results are consistent with different groups within badger populations having differential exposures and therefore infection risk (for example, parous vs. non-parous females). Furthermore, bTB clusters within the badger population, with greater risk to badgers in setts that are closest to other infected setts. The effective scale of the association of bTB risk between badger and cattle populations may be relatively large in Ireland. Our data indicate that the overall trend in prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers has decreased in Ireland (P<0.001) while controlling for significant confounders over the study period, and follows a longer temporal trend from 2007 to 2013, where unadjusted apparent prevalence declined from 26% to 11% during 2007 to mid-2011, followed by a stable trend between 9 and 11% thereafter (n=10,267).
Trewby, Iain D; Young, Richard; McDonald, Robbie A; Wilson, Gavin J; Davison, John; Walker, Neil; Robertson, Andrew; Doncaster, C Patrick; Delahay, Richard J
Experimental evidence of the interactions among mammalian predators that eat or compete with one another is rare, due to the ethical and logistical challenges of managing wild populations in a controlled and replicated way. Here, we report on the opportunistic use of a replicated and controlled culling experiment (the Randomised Badger Culling Trial) to investigate the relationship between two sympatric predators: European badgers Meles meles and western European hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus. In areas of preferred habitat (amenity grassland), counts of hedgehogs more than doubled over a 5-year period from the start of badger culling (from 0.9 ha-1 pre-cull to 2.4 ha-1 post-cull), whereas hedgehog counts did not change where there was no badger culling (0.3-0.3 hedgehogs ha-1). This trial provides experimental evidence for mesopredator release as an outcome of management of a top predator.
Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; Cox, David R; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, Chris L; Delahay, Richard J; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Hewinson, R Glyn; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan
Human and livestock diseases can be difficult to control where infection persists in wildlife populations. In Britain, European badgers (Meles meles) are implicated in transmitting Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), to cattle. Badger culling has therefore been a component of British TB control policy for many years. However, large-scale field trials have recently shown that badger culling has the capacity to cause both increases and decreases in cattle TB incidence. Here, we show that repeated badger culling in the same area is associated with increasing prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers, especially where landscape features allow badgers from neighboring land to recolonize culled areas. This impact on prevalence in badgers might reduce the beneficial effects of culling on cattle TB incidence, and could contribute to the detrimental effects that have been observed. Additionally, we show that suspension of cattle TB controls during a nationwide epidemic of foot and mouth disease, which substantially delayed removal of TB-affected cattle, was associated with a widespread increase in the prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers. This pattern suggests that infection may be transmitted from cattle to badgers, as well as vice versa. Clearly, disease control measures aimed at either host species may have unintended consequences for transmission, both within and between species. Our findings highlight the need for policymakers to consider multiple transmission routes when managing multihost pathogens.
Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Cox, D R; Gilks, Peter; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; Le Fevre, Andrea M; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Gettinby, George; Hewinson, R Glyn; McInerney, John P; Mitchell, A P; Morrison, W Ivan; Watkins, Gavin H
Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonotic disease that can have serious consequences for cattle farming and, potentially, for public health. In Britain, failure to control bovine TB has been linked to persistent infection of European badger (Meles meles) populations. However, culling of badgers in the vicinity of recent TB outbreaks in cattle has failed to reduce the overall incidence of cattle TB. Using data from a large-scale study conducted in 1998-2005, we show that badgers collected on such localized culls had elevated prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine TB, suggesting that infections in cattle and badgers were indeed associated. Moreover, there was a high degree of similarity in the M. bovis strain types isolated from cattle and associated badgers. This similarity between strain types appeared to be unaffected by time lags between the detection of infection in cattle and culling of badgers, or by the presence of purchased cattle that might have acquired infection elsewhere. However, localized culling appeared to prompt an increase in the prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers, probably by disrupting ranging and territorial behavior and hence increasing intraspecific transmission rates. This elevated prevalence among badgers could offset the benefits, for cattle, of reduced badger densities and may help to explain the failure of localized culling to reduce cattle TB incidence.
Atkins, P J; Robinson, P A
The European badger (Meles meles) has been identified as a wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis and a source of transmission to cattle in Britain and Ireland. Both behavioural ecology and statistical ecological modelling have indicated the long-term persistence of the disease in some badger communities, and this is postulated to account for the high incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle across large tracts of England and Wales. This paper questions this consensus by using historical cartographic evidence to show that tuberculosis in cattle had a very different spatial distribution before 1960 to the present day. Since few of the badgers collected in road traffic accidents between 1972 and 1990 had tuberculosis in counties such as Cheshire, where the disease had until shortly before that been rife in the cattle population, the role of badgers as reservoirs in spreading disease in similar counties outside the south-west of England has to be questioned.
Marmi, J; López-Giráldez, F; Macdonald, D W; Calafell, F; Zholnerovskaya, E; Domingo-Roura, X
The badger, Meles meles, is a widely distributed mustelid in Eurasia and shows large geographic variability in morphological characters whose evolutionary significance is unclear and needs to be contrasted with molecular data. We sequenced 512 bp of the mitochondrial DNA control region in 115 Eurasian badgers from 21 countries in order to test for the existence of structuring in their phylogeography, to describe the genetic relationships among their populations across its widespread geographic range, and to infer demographic and biogeographic processes. We found that the Eurasian badger is divided into four groups regarding their mitochondrial DNA: Europe, Southwest Asia, North and East Asia, and Japan. This result suggests that the separation of badgers into phylogeographic groups was influenced by cold Pleistocene glacial stages and permafrost boundaries in Eurasia, and by geographic barriers, such as mountains and deserts. Genetic variation within phylogeographic groups based on distances assuming the Tamura-Nei model with rate heterogeneity and invariable sites (d(T-N) range: 3.3-4.2) was much lower than among them (d(T-N) range: 10.7-38.0), and 80% of the variation could be attributed to differences among regions. Spatial analysis of molecular variance (samova), median-joining network, and Mantel test did not detect genetic structuring within any of the phylogeographic groups with the exception of Europe, where 50% of variation was explained by differences among groups of populations. Our data suggest that the European, Southwest Asian, and North and East Asian badgers evolved separately since the end of Pliocene, at the beginnings of glacial ages, whereas Japanese badgers separated from continental Asian badgers during the middle Pleistocene. Endangered badgers from Crete Island, classified as Meles meles arcalus subspecies, were closely related to badgers from Southwest Asia. We also detected sudden demographic growth in European and Southwest Asian badgers
Tashima, Sara; Kaneko, Yayoi; Anezaki, Tomoko; Baba, Minoru; Yachimori, Shuuji; Abramov, Alexei V; Saveljev, Alexander P; Masuda, Ryuichi
In the present study, to further understand the phylogenetic relationships among the Eurasian badgers (Meles, Mustelidae, Carnivora), which are distributed widely in the Palearctic, partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (539-545 base-pairs) as a maternal genetic marker, and the sex-determining region on the Y-chromosome gene (SRY: 1052-1058 base-pairs), as a paternal genetic marker, were examined. The present study revealed ten SRY haplotypes from 47 males of 112 individuals of the Eurasian Continent and Japan. In addition, 39 mtDNA haplotypes were identified from those animals. From the phylogeography of both the uniparentally inherited genes, four lineages were recognized as Japanese, eastern Eurasian, Caucasian, and western Eurasian. The distribution patterns of the mtDNA lineages showed the existence of a sympatric zone between the eastern and western Eurasian lineages around the Volga River in western Russia. Furthermore, the present study suggested that in the Japanese badgers, the larger genetic differentiation of the Shikoku population was attributable to geographic history in the Japanese islands.
Sidorchuk, N V; Rozhnov, V V
Data on the microclimate (air temperature and humidity) within an unoccupied badger sett in the Darwin Reserve (the Vologda Region) between September 2005 and May 2006 have been analyzed in relation to changes in the temperature and humidity of the ground air layer and soil. A positive correlation has been revealed between the temperature regime of the soil and air temperature within the sett. After the establishment of snow cover, air and soil temperatures within the sett vary slightly and barely depend on ambient air temperature.
Judge, Johanna; Wilson, Gavin J.; MacArthur, Roy; Delahay, Richard J.; McDonald, Robbie A.
In the United Kingdom, European badgers Meles meles are a protected species and an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis. We conducted a survey of badger dens (main setts) in 1614 1 km squares across England and Wales, between November 2011 and March 2013. Using main setts as a proxy for badger social groups, the estimated mean density of badger social groups in England and Wales was 0.485 km-2 (95% confidence interval 0.449-0.521) and the estimated abundance of social groups was 71,600 (66,400-76,900). In the 25 years since the first survey in 1985-88, the annual rate of increase in the estimated number of badger social groups was 2.6% (2.2-2.9%), equating to an 88% (70-105%) increase across England and Wales. In England, we estimate there has been an increase of 103% (83-123%) in badger social groups, while in Wales there has been little change (-25 to +49%).
Judge, Johanna; Wilson, Gavin J; Macarthur, Roy; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A
In the United Kingdom, European badgers Meles meles are a protected species and an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis. We conducted a survey of badger dens (main setts) in 1614 1 km squares across England and Wales, between November 2011 and March 2013. Using main setts as a proxy for badger social groups, the estimated mean density of badger social groups in England and Wales was 0.485 km(-2) (95% confidence interval 0.449-0.521) and the estimated abundance of social groups was 71,600 (66,400-76,900). In the 25 years since the first survey in 1985-88, the annual rate of increase in the estimated number of badger social groups was 2.6% (2.2-2.9%), equating to an 88% (70-105%) increase across England and Wales. In England, we estimate there has been an increase of 103% (83-123%) in badger social groups, while in Wales there has been little change (-25 to +49%).
van den Brand, Judith M A; van Leeuwen, Marije; Schapendonk, Claudia M; Simon, James H; Haagmans, Bart L; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Smits, Saskia L
A thorough understanding of the diversity of viruses in wildlife provides epidemiological baseline information about potential pathogens. Metagenomic analysis of the enteric viral flora revealed a new anellovirus and bocavirus species in pine martens and a new circovirus-like virus and geminivirus-related DNA virus in European badgers. In addition, sequences with homology to viruses from the families Paramyxo- and Picornaviridae were detected.
Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Lyashchenko, Konstantin; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn
European badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. The development of a vaccine for use in badgers is considered a key element of any campaign to eradicate the disease in livestock in both countries. In this study we have vaccinated groups of badgers with approximately 5 x 10(5)cfu of the BCG vaccine delivered via two alternative routes, subcutaneous and mucosal (intranasal/conjunctival). Following experimental endobronchial infection with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis, all badgers were euthanised at 12 weeks post-infection. At post-mortem examination both vaccinated groups had significantly reduced severity of disease compared with the non-vaccinated controls. The analysis of immune responses throughout the study showed that vaccination with BCG did not generate any detectable immunological responses as measured by IFN-gamma production in antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and IgG serological responses. However, the levels of the responses increased following M. bovis infection, and the kinetic profiles corresponded to the severity of lesions recorded post-mortem. Significant differences were observed in the timing of development of the immune responses between vaccinates and controls. The results suggest that the immunological responses are associated with the levels of protective immunity and could be used as markers to monitor control of disease in badgers following vaccination.
Hardstaff, J L; Bulling, M T; Marion, G; Hutchings, M R; White, P C L
Tuberculosis (TB) in livestock, caused by Mycobacterium bovis, persists in many countries. In Britain, efforts to control TB through the culling of badgers (Meles meles), the principal wildlife host, have so far been unsuccessful, and there is significant interest in vaccination of badgers as an alternative or complementary strategy [corrected]. Using a simulation model, we show that where TB is self-contained within the badger population and there are no external sources of infection, limited-duration vaccination at a high level of efficacy can reduce or even eradicate TB from the badger population. However, where sources of external infection persist, benefits in TB reduction in badgers can only be achieved by ongoing, annual vaccination. Vaccination is likely to be most effective as part of an integrated disease management strategy incorporating a number of different approaches across the entire host community.
Ancillotto, Leonardo; Mazza, Giuseppe; Menchetti, Mattia; Mori, Emiliano
Defining the whole spectrum of potential hosts of a parasite has large epidemiological and evolutionary implications in biology. Specialized parasites might be able to occasionally exploit a range of different host species, increasing the individual survival and the chances of successful dispersal. For long time Paraceras melis has been considered a specific flea of European badger Meles meles. Anyway, it has occasionally been reported on different hosts. In this work, we summarize the host spectrum of P. melis from literature and we report its first detection on a bat host. Ten species were identified as occasional hosts, man included, and the plasticity of this flea in host exploitation is noteworthy because of possible increase of pathogens transmission to humans and domestic species.
Chambers, Mark A; Rogers, Fiona; Delahay, Richard J; Lesellier, Sandrine; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna; Gowtage, Sonya; Davé, Dipesh; Palmer, Si; Brewer, Jacky; Crawshaw, Timothy; Clifton-Hadley, Richard; Carter, Steve; Cheeseman, Chris; Hanks, Chris; Murray, Alistair; Palphramand, Kate; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Smith, Graham C; Tomlinson, Alexandra; Walker, Neil J; Wilson, Gavin J; Corner, Leigh A L; Rushton, Stephen P; Shirley, Mark D F; Gettinby, George; McDonald, Robbie A; Hewinson, R Glyn
Control of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle has proven particularly challenging where reservoirs of infection exist in wildlife populations. In Britain and Ireland, control is hampered by a reservoir of infection in Eurasian badgers (Meles meles). Badger culling has positive and negative effects on bovine TB in cattle and is difficult, costly and controversial. Here we show that Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination of captive badgers reduced the progression, severity and excretion of Mycobacterium bovis infection after experimental challenge. In a clinical field study, BCG vaccination of free-living badgers reduced the incidence of positive serological test results by 73.8 per cent. In common with other species, BCG did not appear to prevent infection of badgers subjected to experimental challenge, but did significantly reduce the overall disease burden. BCG vaccination of badgers could comprise an important component of a comprehensive programme of measures to control bovine TB in cattle.
Donnelly, Christl A; Woodroffe, Rosie; Cox, D R; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Wei, Gao; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Jenkins, Helen; Johnston, W Thomas; Le Fevre, Andrea M; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan
Human and livestock diseases can be difficult to control where infection persists in wildlife populations. For three decades, European badgers (Meles meles) have been culled by the British government in a series of attempts to limit the spread of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), to cattle. Despite these efforts, the incidence of TB in cattle has risen consistently, re-emerging as a primary concern for Britain's cattle industry. Recently, badger culling has attracted controversy because experimental studies have reached contrasting conclusions (albeit using different protocols), with culled areas showing either markedly reduced or increased incidence of TB in cattle. This has confused attempts to develop a science-based management policy. Here we use data from a large-scale, randomized field experiment to help resolve these apparent differences. We show that, as carried out in this experiment, culling reduces cattle TB incidence in the areas that are culled, but increases incidence in adjoining areas. These findings are biologically consistent with previous studies but will present challenges for policy development.
Deak, Georgiana; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Ionică, Angela Monica; Daskalaki, Aikaterini Alexandra; Matei, Ioana Adriana; D'Amico, Gianluca; Domşa, Cristian; Pantchev, Nikola; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Cozma, Vasile
Three species of the genus Angiostrongylus are known to infect European carnivores: A. vasorum (mainly in canids but also in other carnivores), A. chabaudi (in felids) and A. daskalovi (in mustelids). A. vasorum is responsible for clinically severe disease in domestic dogs, most commonly diagnosed based on fecal examination and serological detection of circulating antigens. Considering the poorly known host range and the challenging larval differentiation in the feces between the three species of Angiostrongylus infecting European carnivores, our aim was to evaluate the cross-reactivity of A. chabaudi and A. daskalovi with A. vasorum using a commercial serologic test developed for domestic dogs. Badgers (Meles meles) (n=10) and wildcats (Felis silvestris) (n=8) were examined between 2015 and 2016 by full parasitological necropsy with subsequent morphological and molecular identification of nematodes and by serology, using IDEXX Angio Detect™ tests. Five out of the ten badgers and two out of the eight wildcats were harboring nematodes in the pulmonary arteries. All nematodes were identified morphologically as A. daskalovi in badgers and A. chabaudi in wildcats, respectively. Serological examination of the plasma samples revealed the positivity of the same animals as found in necropsy. None of the animals negative at necropsy was positive at serology. The 100% correlation between the necropsy results and the serologic positivity to IDEXX Angio Detect™ in badgers infected with A. daskalovi and wildcats infected with A. chabaudi suggest that these rapid tests are able to identify circulating antigens of all species of Angiostrongylus found in European carnivores: A. vasorum, A. daskalovi and A. chabaudi. The possibility for future in-clinic use of this test in domestic cats should be further investigated.
Corner, Leigh A L; O'Meara, D; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; Gormley, E
Populations of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) with tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis infection) are a significant reservoir of infection for cattle in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In this study the distribution of infection, histological lesions and gross lesions was determined in a sample of 132 culled badgers from naturally-infected wild populations. Badgers were culled when an epidemiological investigation following a tuberculosis breakdown in a cattle herd implicated badgers as the probable source of infection. The definition of tuberculosis infection was based on the isolation of M. bovis from tissues or clinical samples. An accurate diagnosis of infection was achieved by culturing a wide range of lymph nodes (LN) and organ tissues (mean 32.1) and clinical samples (faeces and urine) from each badger. Infection was detected in 57/132 badgers (43.2%). Histological lesions consistent with tuberculosis were seen in 39/57 (68.4%) culture-positive and 7/75 (9.3%) culture-negative animals. Gross lesions were seen in only 30/57 (52.6%) infected badgers, leaving a high proportion (47.4%) of infected animals with latent infection (no grossly visible lesions). The most frequently infected tissues were the lungs and axillary LN, followed by the deep cervical LN, parotid LN and tracheobronchial LN. The data support the hypotheses that in badgers there are only two significant routes of infection, namely, the lower respiratory tract and bite wounds, and that badgers are very susceptible to infection but resistant to the development and progression of the disease. At all levels of disease severity, infection was found in widely dispersed anatomical locations suggesting that there is early dissemination of infection in the period preceding the development of active immunity.
Drewe, J A; O'Connor, H M; Weber, N; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J
Tuberculosis (TB) due to infection with Mycobacterium bovis is transmitted between cattle and badgers (Meles meles) in the UK and Ireland but it is unclear where or when transmission occurs. We investigated direct and indirect interactions between badgers and cattle using automated proximity loggers on animals and at badger latrines located on pasture, in an area of south-west England with a high-density badger population. Direct contacts (interactions within 1.4 m) between badgers and cattle at pasture were very rare (four out of >500000 recorded animal-to-animal contacts) despite ample opportunity for interactions to occur. Indirect interactions (visits to badger latrines by badgers and cattle) were two orders of magnitude more frequent than direct contacts: 400 visits by badgers and 1700 visits by cattle were recorded. This suggests that indirect contacts might be more important than direct contacts in terms of disease transmission at pasture. The TB infection status of individual badgers (ascribed with 93% accuracy using three diagnostic tests) did not affect the frequency or duration of their visits to latrines located on pasture grazed by cattle. Nevertheless, there was wide variation in contact behaviour between individuals, which highlights the importance of understanding heterogeneity in contact patterns when developing strategies to control disease spread in wildlife and livestock.
Massey, Stephanie; Elsheikha, Hany M; Morsy, Gazaa H
Tuberculosis and helminthiosis often coincide geographically. So, question arises whether helminthes can modulate the host immune response and affect tuberculosis. Knowledge of the specific interactions between both enables better understanding of pathogenesis and potential controls. The study evaluated the hypothesis that badgers with a high parasitosis exhibit more susceptibility to tuberculosis compared to those with low or no parasitic infection. Faecal specimens from 28 badgers were examined by using standardised protocols. Fourteen different parasitic species were recovered; nine helminth species and five protozoa species. This diversity indicates that parasites are abundant in UK badgers. Results were compared with regards to age and sex. Parasitic prevalence tended to be higher in males than females and in cubs than adults. Two significant findings were obtained; (1) males had heavier infections with Strongyle nematode L1 larvae than females; (2) cubs showed both higher prevalence and intensity of infection with coccidian oocysts compared to adults. In the sampled population, no significant correlation was found between TB status and diversity or intensity of parasitic infection. This refutes the hypothesis that parasitism exacerbates TB status. Studies encompassing larger numbers of badgers are needed for confirmation of the present finding.
Carter, Stephen P; Chambers, Mark A; Rushton, Stephen P; Shirley, Mark D F; Schuchert, Pia; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Murray, Alistair; Rogers, Fiona; Gettinby, George; Smith, Graham C; Delahay, Richard J; Hewinson, R Glyn; McDonald, Robbie A
Wildlife is a global source of endemic and emerging infectious diseases. The control of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in Britain and Ireland is hindered by persistent infection in wild badgers (Meles meles). Vaccination with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been shown to reduce the severity and progression of experimentally induced TB in captive badgers. Analysis of data from a four-year clinical field study, conducted at the social group level, suggested a similar, direct protective effect of BCG in a wild badger population. Here we present new evidence from the same study identifying both a direct beneficial effect of vaccination in individual badgers and an indirect protective effect in unvaccinated cubs. We show that intramuscular injection of BCG reduced by 76% (Odds ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.11-0.52) the risk of free-living vaccinated individuals testing positive to a diagnostic test combination to detect progressive infection. A more sensitive panel of tests for the detection of infection per se identified a reduction of 54% (Odds ratio = 0.46, 95% CI 0.26-0.88) in the risk of a positive result following vaccination. In addition, we show the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs, but not adults, testing positive to an even more sensitive panel of diagnostic tests decreased significantly as the proportion of vaccinated individuals in their social group increased (Odds ratio = 0.08, 95% CI 0.01-0.76; P = 0.03). When more than a third of their social group had been vaccinated, the risk to unvaccinated cubs was reduced by 79% (Odds ratio = 0.21, 95% CI 0.05-0.81; P = 0.02).
Bielby, Jon; Donnelly, Christl A; Pope, Lisa C; Burke, Terry; Woodroffe, Rosie
Where wildlife disease requires management, culling is frequently considered but not always effective. In the British Isles, control of cattle tuberculosis (TB) is hindered by infection in wild badger (Meles meles) populations. Large-scale badger culling can reduce the incidence of confirmed cattle TB, but these benefits are undermined by culling-induced changes in badger behavior (termed perturbation), which can increase transmission among badgers and from badgers to cattle. Test-vaccinate/remove (TVR) is a novel approach that entails testing individual badgers for infection, vaccinating test-negative animals, and killing test-positive animals. Imperfect capture success, diagnostic sensitivity, and vaccine effectiveness mean that TVR would be expected to leave some infected and some susceptible badgers in the population. Existing simulation models predict that TVR could reduce cattle TB if such small-scale culling causes no perturbation, but could increase cattle TB if considerable perturbation occurs. Using data from a long-term study, we show that past small-scale culling was significantly associated with four metrics of perturbation in badgers: expanded ranging, more frequent immigration, lower genetic relatedness, and elevated prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of TB. Though we could not reject the hypothesis that culling up to three badgers per social group might avoid perturbation, we also could not reject the hypothesis that killing a single badger prompted detectable perturbation. When considered alongside existing model predictions, our findings suggest that implementation of TVR, scheduled for 2014, risks exacerbating the TB problem rather than controlling it. Ongoing illegal badger culling is likewise expected to increase cattle TB risks.
Bielby, Jon; Vial, Flavie; Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A.
Bovine tuberculosis is an important disease affecting the UK livestock industry. Controlling bovine tuberculosis (TB) is made more complex by the presence of a wildlife host, the Eurasian badger, Meles meles. Repeated large-scale badger culls implemented in the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) were associated with decreased cattle risks inside the culling area, but also with increased cattle risks up to the 2km outside the culling area. Intermediate reductions in badger density, as achieved by localised reactive culling in the RBCT, significantly increased cattle TB. Using a matched-pairs case-control study design (n = 221 pairs of cattle herds), we investigated the spatial scale over which localised badger culling had its biggest impact. We found that reactive badger culling had a significant positive association with the risk of cattle TB at distances of 1-3km and 3-5km, and that no such association existed over shorter distances (<1km). These findings indicate that localised badger culls had significant negative effects, not on the land on which culling took place, but, perhaps more importantly, on adjoining lands and farms. PMID:27749934
Fend, R; Geddes, R; Lesellier, S; Vordermeier, H-M; Corner, L A L; Gormley, E; Costello, E; Hewinson, R G; Marlin, D J; Woodman, A C; Chambers, M A
It is estimated that more than 50 million cattle are infected with Mycobacterium bovis worldwide, resulting in severe economic losses. Current diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle relies on tuberculin skin testing, and when combined with the slaughter of test-positive animals, it has significantly reduced the incidence of bovine TB. The failure to eradicate bovine TB in Great Britain has been attributed in part to a reservoir of the infection in badgers (Meles meles). Accurate and reliable diagnosis of infection is the cornerstone of TB control. Bacteriological diagnosis has these characteristics, but only with samples collected postmortem. Unlike significant wild animal reservoirs of M. bovis that are considered pests in other countries, such as the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, the badger and its sett are protected under United Kingdom legislation (The Protection of Badgers Act 1992). Therefore, an accurate in vitro test for badgers is needed urgently to determine the extent of the reservoir of infection cheaply and without destroying badgers. For cattle, a rapid on-farm test to complement the existing tests (the skin test and gamma interferon assay) would be highly desirable. To this end, we have investigated the potential of an electronic nose (EN) to diagnose infection of cattle or badgers with M. bovis, using a serum sample. Samples were obtained from both experimentally infected badgers and cattle, as well as naturally infected badgers. Without exception, the EN was able to discriminate infected animals from controls as early as 3 weeks after infection with M. bovis, the earliest time point examined postchallenge. The EN approach described here is a straightforward alternative to conventional methods of TB diagnosis, and it offers considerable potential as a sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective means of diagnosing M. bovis infection in cattle and badgers.
Stone, James C.
This study provides an evaluation of the quality of immersion instruction in English as a second language in the Mele-Maat School, an English-medium, British-administered Polynesian school in Vanuatu, an independent South Pacific nation. The study consisted of one year of baseline data gathering and a second year for replication using standardized…
Finney, Jason K.; Beatham, Sarah E.; Delahay, Richard J.; Robertson, Peter A.; Cowan, David P.
Increasing urbanisation and growth of many wild animal populations can result in a greater frequency of human-wildlife conflicts. However, traditional lethal methods of wildlife control are becoming less favoured than non-lethal approaches, particularly when problems involve charismatic species in urban areas. Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) excavate subterranean burrow systems (setts), which can become large and complex. Larger setts within which breeding takes place and that are in constant use are known as main setts. Smaller, less frequently occupied setts may also exist within the social group’s range. When setts are excavated in urban environments they can undermine built structures and can limit or prevent safe use of the area by people. The most common approach to resolving these problems in the UK is to exclude badgers from the problem sett, but exclusions suffer a variable success rate. We studied 32 lawful cases of badger exclusions using one-way gates throughout England to evaluate conditions under which attempts to exclude badgers from their setts in urban environments were successful. We aimed to identify ways of modifying practices to improve the chances of success. Twenty of the 32 exclusion attempts were successful, but success was significantly less likely if a main sett was to be excluded in comparison with another type of sett and if vegetation was not completely removed from the sett surface prior to exclusion attempts. We recommend that during exclusions all vegetation is removed from the site, regardless of what type of sett is involved, and that successful exclusion of badgers from a main sett might require substantially more effort than other types of sett. PMID:27761352
Martysiak-Zurowska, Dorota; Zalewski, Kazimierz; Kamieniarz, Robert
The fatty acid (FA) composition of depot adipose tissues in the raccoon dog (Nyctereutesprocyonoides) and the European beaver (Castorfiber) differs from that reported for the lipids of other monogastric animals, especially with regard to the presence of trans-octadecenoic acids. The concentrations of pentadecanoic acid 15:0 (PA) and heptadecanoic acid 17:0 (HA) in the lipids of the tested animals ranged from 0.23 to 0.79% and from 0.33 to 2.35% of total FAs, respectively. The total content of their monounsaturated cis isomers varied from 0.12 to 2.75% for pentadecanoic acid (c-PA) and from 0.38 to 2.45% for heptadecanoic acid (c-HA). It is interesting that the tissues of European beavers and raccoon dogs contained also trans isomers of octadecenoic acid C18:1 (t-OA) including vaccenic acid C18:1,11t (VA), typical of ruminants. The presence of FAs with an uneven number of carbon atoms and trans-octadecenoic acids in depot adipose tissue is indicative of the process of hydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid) in the digestive tract. The tissues of badgers also contained t-OA (from below 0.05% in the liver to 0.44% in the kidneys), but no VA was found.
Wilson, Gavin J; Carter, Stephen P; Delahay, Richard J
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is the most serious endemic disease facing the livestock industry in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI), where its management has been confounded by the presence of persistent infection in the Eurasian badger (Meles meles). Field evidence suggests that the social structure of badger populations can have an important influence on disease dynamics, and on the outcome of management interventions. Recent, large-scale badger culling experiments in the UK and RoI had complex epidemiological outcomes. In the UK, proactive culling led to reduced bTB incidence in cattle herds inside culled areas, but a temporary increase in adjacent areas. Reactive culling in response to herd breakdowns was associated with an increase in the incidence of bTB in cattle. In contrast, badger culling in RoI was reported to have only beneficial effects on bTB incidence in cattle. The reasons for these differences are not clear. The complexity of the evidence base for culling is highlighted by the different management approaches currently being adopted by the different authorities of the UK and RoI. It is generally accepted that a holistic approach to bTB management, which targets both cattle and wildlife, is necessary. Consequently recent research activities have also focussed on cattle and badger vaccines, and biosecurity on farms. This paper describes recent advances in our understanding of the epidemiology of bTB in badgers and the consequences of culling, and current research to develop approaches for the vaccination of badgers, and methods of managing the risks of contact between badgers and cattle in farm buildings.
Graham, J; Smith, G C; Delahay, R J; Bailey, T; McDonald, R A; Hodgson, D
Statistical models of epidemiology in wildlife populations usually consider diseased individuals as a single class, despite knowledge that infections progress through states of severity. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a serious zoonotic disease threatening the UK livestock industry, but we have limited understanding of key epidemiological processes in its wildlife reservoirs. We estimated differential survival, force of infection and progression in disease states in a population of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), naturally infected with bTB. Our state-dependent models overturn prevailing categorizations of badger disease states, and find novel evidence for early onset of disease-induced mortality in male but not female badgers. Males also have higher risk of infection and more rapid disease progression which, coupled with state-dependent increases in mortality, could promote sex biases in the risk of transmission to cattle. Our results reveal hidden complexities in wildlife disease epidemiology, with implications for the management of TB and other zoonotic diseases.
Donnelly, C. A.; Bento, A. I.; Goodchild, A. V.; Downs, S. H.
In the UK, badgers (Meles meles) are a well-known reservoir of infection, and there has been lively debate about whether badger culling should play a role within the British Government's strategy to control and eventually eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. The key source of information on the potential for badger culling to reduce cattle TB in high-cattle-TB-incidence areas remains the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). In late 2013, two pilot areas were subjected to industry-led badger culls. These culls differed importantly from RBCT culling in that free-ranging as well as cage-trapped badgers were shot, and culling took place over a longer time period. Their impacts will be harder to evaluate because culling was not randomised between comparable areas for subsequent comparisons of culling versus no culling. However, the authors present calculations that explore the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on cattle TB incidence. The rollout of industry-led culling as a component of a national cattle TB control policy would be controversial. The best possible estimates of the effects of such culling on confirmed cattle TB incidence should be made available to inform all stakeholders and policy-makers. PMID:26374782
Donnelly, C A; Bento, A I; Goodchild, A V; Downs, S H
In the UK, badgers (Meles meles) are a well-known reservoir of infection, and there has been lively debate about whether badger culling should play a role within the British Government's strategy to control and eventually eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. The key source of information on the potential for badger culling to reduce cattle TB in high-cattle-TB-incidence areas remains the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). In late 2013, two pilot areas were subjected to industry-led badger culls. These culls differed importantly from RBCT culling in that free-ranging as well as cage-trapped badgers were shot, and culling took place over a longer time period. Their impacts will be harder to evaluate because culling was not randomised between comparable areas for subsequent comparisons of culling versus no culling. However, the authors present calculations that explore the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on cattle TB incidence. The rollout of industry-led culling as a component of a national cattle TB control policy would be controversial. The best possible estimates of the effects of such culling on confirmed cattle TB incidence should be made available to inform all stakeholders and policy-makers.
Background The persistence of bovine TB (bTB) in various countries throughout the world is enhanced by the existence of wildlife hosts for the infection. In Britain and Ireland, the principal wildlife host for bTB is the badger (Meles meles). The objective of our study was to examine the dynamics of bTB in badgers in relation to both badger-derived infection from within the population and externally-derived, trickle-type, infection, such as could occur from other species or environmental sources, using a spatial stochastic simulation model. Results The presence of external sources of infection can increase mean prevalence and reduce the threshold group size for disease persistence. Above the threshold equilibrium group size of 6–8 individuals predicted by the model for bTB persistence in badgers based on internal infection alone, external sources of infection have relatively little impact on the persistence or level of disease. However, within a critical range of group sizes just below this threshold level, external infection becomes much more important in determining disease dynamics. Within this critical range, external infection increases the ratio of intra- to inter-group infections due to the greater probability of external infections entering fully-susceptible groups. The effect is to enable bTB persistence and increase bTB prevalence in badger populations which would not be able to maintain bTB based on internal infection alone. Conclusions External sources of bTB infection can contribute to the persistence of bTB in badger populations. In high-density badger populations, internal badger-derived infections occur at a sufficient rate that the additional effect of external sources in exacerbating disease is minimal. However, in lower-density populations, external sources of infection are much more important in enhancing bTB prevalence and persistence. In such circumstances, it is particularly important that control strategies to reduce bTB in badgers include
It is reported that Badger Energy is to participate in a gasohol project that will utilize the Tate and Lyle fermentation process at the proposed plant at Thibodaux, La., to produce 20 million gal/year of ethanol. The facility will be able to process alternative feedstocks such as grain, sorghum and sugar cane. The Dept. of Energy is funding the first phase of the project, which includes a feasibility study, by a grant of $1.9 million.
Ward, Alastair I; Smith, Graham C; Etherington, Thomas R; Delahay, Richard J
Wild deer populations in Great Britain are expanding in range and probably in numbers, and relatively high prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB, caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis) in deer occurs locally in parts of southwest England. To evaluate the M. bovis exposure risk posed to cattle by wild deer relative to badgers in England and Wales, we constructed and parameterized a quantitative risk model with the use of information from the literature (on deer densities, activity patterns, bTB epidemiology, and pathology) and contemporary data on deer, cattle, and badger (Meles meles) distribution and abundance. The median relative risk score for each of the four deer species studied--red (Cervus elaphus), fallow (Dama dama), and roe (Capreolus capreolus) deer, and muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi)--was lower than unity (the relative risk set for badgers, the putative main wildlife reservoir of M. bovis in England and Wales). However, the 95th percentiles associated with risk estimates were large, and the upper limits for all four deer species exceeded unity. Although M. bovis exposure risks to cattle from deer at pasture are likely to be lower than those from badgers across most areas of England and Wales where cattle are affected by bTB because these areas coincide with high-density badger populations but not high-density deer populations, we predict the presence of localized areas where relative risks posed by deer may be considerable. Moreover, wherever deer are infected, risks to cattle may be additive to those posed by badgers. There are considerable knowledge gaps associated with bTB in deer, badgers, and cattle, and data available for model parameterization were generally of low quality and high variability, and consequently model output were subject to some uncertainty. Improved estimates of the proportion of time that deer of each species spend at pasture, the likelihood and magnitude of M. bovis excretion, and local badger and deer densities appear
Ferroglio, E; Ragagli, C; Trisciuoglio, A
We investigated the presence of Physaloptera sibirica and its distribution as well as the association among the parasite, host (i.e. mange due to Sarcoptes scabiei) and environmental factors (i.e. altitudes) in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and badgers (Meles meles) from the North-West of Italy. From 1996 to 2008 a total of 608 foxes, culled by hunters or road killed, and 39 road killed badgers were examined in order to investigate the presence of nematodes in the stomach. P. sibirica was found in 16 foxes (2.63%) and one badger (2.56%). As regards foxes' habitat type, prevalence was significantly higher (chi(2) = 16.36, p < or = 0.05) in mountain foxes (6.43%; 95%CI 3.25-11.22%) than those from hills (2.22%; 95%CI 0.46-6.36%) or irrigated plains (0.34%; 95%CI 0.01-1.90%). There were no significant differences between sex, age, months and years of the sampling. P. sibirica presence is significantly (chi(2) = 241.63, p > 0.000001) higher (73.33%; 95%CI 44.83-91.09%) in foxes with sarcoptic mange than foxes without mange (0.84%; 95%CI 0.21-1.84%). According to previous studies, in Southern Europe this parasite is associated with mountain areas, probably due to its intermediate hosts which require cold climate. Further studies are needed to evaluate the pathogenic role of P. sibirica in wildlife and its effects on host life history.
Describes how a visit to the principal's office to see his family heirloom (a quilted Hawaiian flag), and reading the book "Badger's Parting Gifts," created powerful and ongoing lessons for the author's second graders, imparting an eternal way of thinking about gifts, family, friends, and human values. (SR)
Aznar, Inma; McGrath, Guy; Murphy, Denise; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn; Frankena, Klaas; More, Simon J; Martin, Wayne; O'Keeffe, James; De Jong, Mart C M
The principal wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis in Ireland is the European badger. Studies in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) have shown that badgers culled in association with cattle herd tuberculosis breakdowns (focal culling) have a higher prevalence of infection than the badger population at large. This observation is one rationale for the medium term national strategy of focal badger culling. A vaccination strategy for the control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in badgers is a preferred long-term option. The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine has been shown to decrease disease severity in captive badgers under controlled conditions. As the vaccine has been tested in a controlled environment with precise information on infection pressure, it cannot be assumed a priori that the effects of vaccination are similar in the wild, where other environmental and/or ecological factors prevail. For this reason we have designed a vaccine field trial to assess the impact of vaccination on the incidence of TB infection in a wild badger population. The selected study area for the vaccine trial (approximately 755 square kilometers) is divided into three zones each of which has similar characteristics in terms of size, number of main badger setts, cattle herds, cattle and land classification type. Three vaccination levels (100%, 50% and 0%) will be allocated to the three zones in a way that a gradient of vaccination coverage North to South is achieved. The middle zone (zone B) will be vaccinated at a 50% coverage but zone A and C will be randomly allocated with 100% or 0% vaccination coverage. Vaccination within zone B will be done randomly at individual badger level. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a field tuberculosis vaccination trial for badgers, the epidemiological methods that were used to design the trial and the subsequent data analysis. The analysis will enable us to quantify the magnitude of the observed vaccination effect on M. bovis
Bilham, Kirstin; Boyd, Amy C; Preston, Stephen G; Buesching, Christina D; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Smith, Adrian L
The European badger is recognised as a wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis (bTB); the control of which is complex, costly and controversial. Despite the importance of badgers in bTB and the well-documented role for macrophages as anti-mycobacterial effector cells, badger macrophage (bdMφ) responses remain uncharacterised. Here, we demonstrate that bdMφ fail to produce nitric oxide (NO) or upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA following Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist treatment. BdMφ also failed to make NO after stimulation with recombinant badger interferon gamma (bdIFNγ) or a combination of bdIFNγ and lipopolysaccharide. Exposure of bdMφ to TLR agonists and/or bdIFNγ resulted in upregulated cytokine (IL1β, IL6, IL12 and TNFα) mRNA levels indicating that these critical pathways were otherwise intact. Although stimulation with most TLR agonists resulted in strong cytokine mRNA responses, weaker responses were evident after exposure to TLR9 agonists, potentially due to very low expression of TLR9 in bdMφ. Both NO and TLR9 are important elements of innate immunity to mycobacteria, and these features of bdMφ biology would impair their capacity to resist bTB infection. These findings have significant implications for the development of bTB management strategies, and support the use of vaccination to reduce bTB infection in badgers.
Bilham, Kirstin; Boyd, Amy C.; Preston, Stephen G.; Buesching, Christina D.; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W.; Smith, Adrian L.
The European badger is recognised as a wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis (bTB); the control of which is complex, costly and controversial. Despite the importance of badgers in bTB and the well-documented role for macrophages as anti-mycobacterial effector cells, badger macrophage (bdMφ) responses remain uncharacterised. Here, we demonstrate that bdMφ fail to produce nitric oxide (NO) or upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA following Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist treatment. BdMφ also failed to make NO after stimulation with recombinant badger interferon gamma (bdIFNγ) or a combination of bdIFNγ and lipopolysaccharide. Exposure of bdMφ to TLR agonists and/or bdIFNγ resulted in upregulated cytokine (IL1β, IL6, IL12 and TNFα) mRNA levels indicating that these critical pathways were otherwise intact. Although stimulation with most TLR agonists resulted in strong cytokine mRNA responses, weaker responses were evident after exposure to TLR9 agonists, potentially due to very low expression of TLR9 in bdMφ. Both NO and TLR9 are important elements of innate immunity to mycobacteria, and these features of bdMφ biology would impair their capacity to resist bTB infection. These findings have significant implications for the development of bTB management strategies, and support the use of vaccination to reduce bTB infection in badgers. PMID:28382943
10. VIEW OF THE BADGER STATE MINEYARD, LOOKING NORTHEAST, SHOWING THE HOIST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE IDLER TOWER, AND A LEG OF THE HEADFRAME ON THE RIGHT - Butte Mineyards, Badger State Mine, Butte, Silver Bow County, MT
Dawnay, Nick; Ogden, Rob; Thorpe, Roger S; Pope, Lisa C; Dawson, Deborah A; McEwing, Ross
Developing short tandem repeat (STR) profiling systems for forensic identification is complicated in animal species. Obtaining a representative number of individuals from populations, limited access to family groups and a lack of developed STR markers can make adhering to human forensic guidelines difficult. Furthermore, a lack of animal specific guidelines may explain why many wildlife forensic STR profiling systems developed to date have not appropriately addressed areas such as marker validation or the publication and analysis of population data necessary for the application of these tools to forensic science. Here we present a methodology used to develop an STR profiling system for a legally protected wildlife species, the Eurasian badger Meles meles. Ten previously isolated STR loci were selected based on their level of polymorphism, adherence to Hardy-Weinberg expectations and their fragment size. Each locus was individually validated with respect to its reproducibility, inheritance, species specificity, DNA template concentration and thermocycling parameters. The effects of chemical, substrate and environmental exposure were also investigated. All ten STR loci provided reliable and reproducible results, and optimal amplification conditions were defined. Allele frequencies from 20 representative populations in England and Wales are presented and used to calculate the level of population substructure (theta) and inbreeding (f). Accounting for these estimates, the average probability of identity (PI(ave)) was 2.18 x 10(-7). This case study can act as a framework for others attempting to develop wildlife forensic profiling systems.
Viking's soil sampler collector arm successfully pushed a rock on the surface of Mars during the afternoon of Friday, October 8. The irregular-shaped rock was pushed several inches by the Lander's collector arm, which displaced the rock to the left of its original position, leaving it cocked slightly upward. Photographs and other information verified the successful rock push. Photo at left shows the soil sampler's collector head pushing against the rock, named 'Mister Badger' by flight controllers. Photo at right shows the displaced rock and the depression whence it came. Part of the soil displacement was caused by the collector s backhoe. A soil sample will be taken from the site Monday night, October 11. It will then be delivered to Viking s organic chemistry instrument for a series of analyses during the next few weeks. The sample is being sought from beneath a rock because scientists believe that, if there are life forms on Mars, they may seek rocks as shelter from the Sun s intense ultraviolet radiation.
O'Mahony, D T
The frequency of visits by badgers and cattle to five water troughs was examined using motion-activated infra-red cameras in a farming landscape in Northern Ireland between May and July 2013. Cattle visit rates varied significantly across troughs, were greatest during daylight periods, and more frequent during dry weather. Badgers were recorded visiting only one of the five water troughs. These visits were recorded on 14 different nights between midnight and 0300 h and were mainly by individual badgers. Water troughs were not used concurrently by badgers and cattle and the minimum period between badger and cattle use was 3 days. Although badgers used water troughs rarely during the study there remains the potential for indirect transmission of a bacterium such as Mycobacterium bovis that may merit further investigation.
Heltemes, Thad A.
The complex multiphysics capabilities of radiation hydrodynamics codes require detailed equation of state (EOS) data. These EOS data need to accurately describe the behavior of materials over a wide range of densities and temperatures. This is particularly true for integrated high-gain target explosion --- reaction chamber response simulations where conditions ranging from thermonuclear to solid-state are present throughout the simulation. The models employed to facilitate representing the desired material(s) need to represent solid, liquid, gas and plasma states of matter. Each of these states of matter have unique physical phenomena that must be described in an EOS model. In addition to pure material phase information, an ideal EOS model will incorporate phase-change and chemical reaction information. The BADGER Fortran EOS library was created to meet the needs of these multiphysics simulation codes. BADGER incorporates the most recently published ion EOS, electron EOS and ionization models. It was written as a software library with the express intent of being directly linked into external codes to eliminate the requirement of generating tabular data. The library accepts an arbitrary material composition of natural elements or isotopes and calculates the EOS variables and mean ionization based on the density, temperature and plasma condition (local thermodynamic equilibrium or non-LTE). The results are stored in a data array that is accessible to the external code. When an EOS calculation is requested, the material is broken down into individual isotopes and the EOS/ionization calculation is performed on each isotope. BADGER assumes a thermodynamically consistent average atom model, so the final material result is simply the sum of the isotopic constituents. The BADGER ion and electron EOS models have been verified against SESAME tabulated EOS data from Los Alamos National Laboratory for aluminum and tungsten and the ionization model was verified against FLYCHK
Enticott, G; Maye, D; Ilbery, B; Fisher, R; Kirwan, J
This paper examines UK farmers' levels of confidence in vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and their trust in the Government's ability to deal with bTB. In 2010, a badger vaccine based on the BCG vaccine was licensed following field trials and used as part of the UK Government's Badger Vaccination Deployment Project. A stratified random sample of cattle farmers in five different locations of England was surveyed using a telephone survey to elicit their views of badger vaccination. The survey provided a total of 341 responses with a response rate of 80 per cent. Results suggest that the farmers are cautious about badger vaccination, appearing to be neither overly confident nor unconfident in it. However, the farmers did not reveal high levels of trust in the Government to manage bTB policy or badger vaccination. There were no differences in the levels of confidence or trust between farms that were under bTB restrictions at the time of the survey and those that were not or between farms with historically high levels of bTB. Analysis of principal components suggests that 33 per cent of the farmers accepted badger vaccination, but that acceptance is dependent on the wider social and political environment.
Chambers, M A; Carter, S P; Wilson, G J; Jones, G; Brown, E; Hewinson, R G; Vordermeier, M
Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a significant threat to the cattle industry in England and Wales. It is widely acknowledged that a combination of measures targeting both cattle and wildlife will be required to eradicate bovine TB or reduce its prevalence until European official freedom status is achieved. Vaccination of cattle and/or badgers could contribute to bovine TB control in Great Britain, although there are significant gaps in our knowledge regarding the impact that vaccination would actually have on bovine TB incidence. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that vaccination with BCG can reduce the progression and severity of TB in both badgers and cattle. This is encouraging in terms of the prospect of a sustained vaccination programme achieving reductions in disease prevalence; however, developing vaccines for tackling the problem of bovine TB is challenging, time-consuming and resource-intensive, as this review article sets out to explain.
Goodchild, A V; Watkins, G H; Sayers, A R; Jones, J R; Clifton-Hadley, R S
In a survey, 457 badgers that had been found dead in Wales were postmortem-examined, and samples were examined by histology and by extended culture (for up to 12 weeks). Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from 55 badgers (12.0 per cent), and the histology typical of M bovis infection was seen in a further six (1.3 per cent). The prevalence in badgers in each of 10 geographical areas varied between 0 and 26 per cent (P<0.001), and was associated with the incidence of confirmed M bovis infection in cattle herds in the same areas (P<0.01). In northern Wales, bTB was rare in both hosts. An infected badger was 12.3 times more likely to be within 5 km of a confirmed cattle bTB breakdown than an uninfected badger. The M bovis isolates from badgers belonged to one of four genotypes defined by spoligotype and variable number tandem repeat type. These genotypes were also found in 290 concurrent confirmed herd breakdowns, and tended to be similar to the genotypes in badgers in the same geographical areas. When badgers and cattle no more than 30 km apart were compared, the genotype diversity was greater in cattle than in badgers (P=0.016), suggesting that the movement of cattle plays a greater part in the spatial distribution of M bovis than the movement of badgers.
Jenkins, H E; Morrison, W I; Cox, D R; Donnelly, C A; Johnston, W T; Bourne, F J; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Gettinby, G; McInerney, J P; Watkins, G H; Woodroffe, R
The Randomized Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) began in 1998 to determine the impact of badger culling in controlling bovine tuberculosis in cattle. A total of 1166 badgers (14% of total) proactively culled during the RBCT were found to be tuberculous, offering a unique opportunity to study the pathology caused by Mycobacterium bovis in a large sample of badgers. Of these, 39% of adults (approximately 6% of all adults culled) had visible lesions (detectable at necropsy) of bovine tuberculosis; cubs had a lower prevalence of infection (9%) but a higher percentage of tuberculous cubs (55.5%) had visible lesions. Only approximately 1% of adult badgers had extensive, severe pathology. Tuberculous badgers with recorded bite wounds (approximately 5%) had a higher prevalence of visible lesions and a different distribution of lesions, suggesting transmission via bite wounds. However, the predominance of lesions in the respiratory tract indicates that most transmission occurs by the respiratory route.
Tasmi, Aldila, D.; Soewono, E.; Nuraini, N.
Badger was first time identified as a carrier of Bovine tuberculosis disease in England since 30 years ago. Bovine tuberculosis can be transmitted to another species through the faces, saliva, and breath. The control of tuberculosis in the badger is necessary to reduce the spread of the disease to other species. Many actions have been taken by the government to tackle the disease such as culling badgers with cyanide gas, but this way destroys the natural balance and disrupts the badger population. An alternative way to eliminate tuberculosis within badger population is by vaccination. Here in this paper a model for transmission of badger tuberculosis with vaccination is discussed. The existence of the endemic equilibrium, the stability and the basic reproduction ratio are shown analytically. Numerical simulations show that with proper vaccination level, the basic reproduction ratio could be reduced significantly. Sensitivity analysis for variation of parameters are shown numerically.
... CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10339, Badger State... Receiver for Badger State Bank, Cassville, Wisconsin (``the Receiver'') intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Badger State Bank. The liquidation of...
... Employment and Training Administration Badger Meter, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Sourcepoint... Adjustment Assistance on April 28, 2010, applicable to workers of Badger Meter, Inc., including on-site... Manpower were employed on-site at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin location of Badger Meter, Inc. The...
We show that the Fu-Kane-Mele invariant of the 2 d time-reversal invariant crystalline insulators is equal to the properly normalized Wess-Zumino action of the so-called sewing-matrix field defined on the Brillouin torus. Applied to 3 d, the result permits a direct proof of the known relation between the strong Fu-Kane-Mele invariant and the Chern-Simons action of the non-Abelian Berry connection on the bundle of valence states.
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Badger Creek Limited; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order Take notice..., as amended, 18 CFR 292.205(c) (2012), Badger Creek Limited filed a petition for declaratory...
In the western United States, overgrazing, weed invasion and wildfire have resulted in the conversion of shrub-steppe to annual grasslands, with substantial effects on ecosystem function. In these landscapes, badgers disturb large areas of soil while foraging for prey. Mounds created by badgers cont...
Smith, Catherine M; Downs, Sara H; Mitchell, Andy; Hayward, Andrew C; Fry, Hannah; Le Comber, Steven C
Bovine tuberculosis is a disease of historical importance to human health in the UK that remains a major animal health and economic issue. Control of the disease in cattle is complicated by the presence of a reservoir species, the Eurasian badger. In spite of uncertainty in the degree to which cattle disease results from transmission from badgers, and opposition from environmental groups, culling of badgers has been licenced in two large areas in England. Methods to limit culls to smaller areas that target badgers infected with TB whilst minimising the number of uninfected badgers culled is therefore of considerable interest. Here, we use historical data from a large-scale field trial of badger culling to assess two alternative hypothetical methods of targeting TB-infected badgers based on the distribution of cattle TB incidents: (i) a simple circular 'ring cull'; and (ii) geographic profiling, a novel technique for spatial targeting of infectious disease control that predicts the locations of sources of infection based on the distribution of linked cases. Our results showed that both methods required coverage of very large areas to ensure a substantial proportion of infected badgers were removed, and would result in many uninfected badgers being culled. Geographic profiling, which accounts for clustering of infections in badger and cattle populations, produced a small but non-significant increase in the proportion of setts with TB-infected compared to uninfected badgers included in a cull. It also provided no overall improvement at targeting setts with infected badgers compared to the ring cull. Cattle TB incidents in this study were therefore insufficiently clustered around TB-infected badger setts to design an efficient spatially targeted cull; and this analysis provided no evidence to support a move towards spatially targeted badger culling policies for bovine TB control.
Smith, Catherine M.; Downs, Sara H.; Mitchell, Andy; Hayward, Andrew C.; Fry, Hannah; Le Comber, Steven C.
Bovine tuberculosis is a disease of historical importance to human health in the UK that remains a major animal health and economic issue. Control of the disease in cattle is complicated by the presence of a reservoir species, the Eurasian badger. In spite of uncertainty in the degree to which cattle disease results from transmission from badgers, and opposition from environmental groups, culling of badgers has been licenced in two large areas in England. Methods to limit culls to smaller areas that target badgers infected with TB whilst minimising the number of uninfected badgers culled is therefore of considerable interest. Here, we use historical data from a large-scale field trial of badger culling to assess two alternative hypothetical methods of targeting TB-infected badgers based on the distribution of cattle TB incidents: (i) a simple circular ‘ring cull’; and (ii) geographic profiling, a novel technique for spatial targeting of infectious disease control that predicts the locations of sources of infection based on the distribution of linked cases. Our results showed that both methods required coverage of very large areas to ensure a substantial proportion of infected badgers were removed, and would result in many uninfected badgers being culled. Geographic profiling, which accounts for clustering of infections in badger and cattle populations, produced a small but non-significant increase in the proportion of setts with TB-infected compared to uninfected badgers included in a cull. It also provided no overall improvement at targeting setts with infected badgers compared to the ring cull. Cattle TB incidents in this study were therefore insufficiently clustered around TB-infected badger setts to design an efficient spatially targeted cull; and this analysis provided no evidence to support a move towards spatially targeted badger culling policies for bovine TB control. PMID:26565626
Martín-Atance, P; León-Vizcaíno, L; Palomares, F; Revilla, E; González-Candela, M; Calzada, J; Cubero-Pablo, M J; Delibes, M
We conducted a retrospective serologic survey for antibodies against the MPB70 protein of Mycobacterium bovis in wild carnivores from Doñana National Park (southwestern Spain). Serum samples from 118 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 39 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), five Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), four European genet (Genetta genetta), and one Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) were analyzed using an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. Antibodies against the MPB70 protein of M. bovis were detected in seven badgers, five foxes, and one lynx. The frequency of positive animals was significantly higher in badger (23%) than in lynx (3%) and fox (4%). Antibodies were not detected in other species. Annual antibody frequency peaked at 38% in badgers and 11% for red fox. These species may contribute to persistence of bovine tuberculosis in Doñana.
Higgins, D.A.; Kung, I.T.; Or, R.S.
Badger lungs contain dark granular foci (0.2 to 2.0 mm) comprising aggregates of enlarged macrophages containing birefringent crystalline particles. Particles were examined from the lungs of three badgers; many were silicates and a significant number were pure silica (SiO/sub 2/). The particles and the accompanying pathology resembled mixed dust fibrosis and silicosis in humans, diseases associated with increased susceptibility to tuberculosis.
Crawshaw, T R; Griffiths, I B; Clifton-Hadley, R S
A standard postmortem protocol, consisting of gross pathology, culture for mycobacteria and limited selective histopathology, was used in the randomised badger culling trial in Great Britain to detect Mycobacterium bovis infection. This standard protocol was compared with a more detailed protocol in which more tissues were examined grossly, more tissues were cultured, more culture slopes were seeded, the culture period was extended and tissues were examined routinely by histopathology. The standard protocol was more sensitive in badgers with gross visible lesions than in badgers with no gross visible lesions. When applied to the study population of badgers, the overall sensitivity of the standard protocol relative to the more detailed protocol was estimated to be 54.6 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 44.9 to 69.8 per cent). Badgers with tuberculosis (tb) detected by the standard protocol had a mean of 7.6 tissues with microscopic lesions suspicious of tb. The additional badgers detected by the detailed protocol had a mean of 4.4 tissues with microscopic lesions suspicious of tb.
Brooks-Pollock, Ellen; Wood, James L N
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a multi-species infection that commonly affects cattle and badgers in Great Britain. Despite years of study, the impact of badgers on BTB incidence in cattle is poorly understood. Using a two-host transmission model of BTB in cattle and badgers, we find that published data and parameter estimates are most consistent with a system at the threshold of control. The most consistent explanation for data obtained from cattle and badger populations includes within-host reproduction numbers close to 1 and between-host reproduction numbers of approximately 0.05. In terms of controlling infection in cattle, reducing cattle-to-cattle transmission is essential. In some regions, even large reductions in badger prevalence can have a modest impact on cattle infection and a multi-stranded approach is necessary that also targets badger-to-cattle transmission directly. The new perspective highlighted by this two-host approach provides insight into the control of BTB in Great Britain.
Warren, M; Lobley, M; Winter, M
Controversy persists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland concerning methods of controlling the transmission of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) between badgers and cattle. The National Trust, a major land-owning heritage organisation, in 2011, began a programme of vaccinating badgers against bTB on its Killerton Estate in Devon. Most of the estate is farmed by 18 tenant farmers, who thus have a strong interest in the Trust's approach, particularly as all have felt the effects of the disease. This article reports on a study of the attitudes to vaccination of badgers and to the alternative of a culling programme, using face-to-face interviews with 14 of the tenants. The results indicated first that the views of the respondents were more nuanced than the contemporary public debate about badger control would suggest. Secondly, the attitude of the interviewees to vaccination of badgers against bTB was generally one of resigned acceptance. Thirdly, most respondents would prefer a combination of an effective vaccination programme with an effective culling programme, the latter reducing population of density sufficiently (and preferably targeting the badgers most likely to be diseased) for vaccination to have a reasonable chance of success. While based on a small sample, these results will contribute to the vigorous debate concerning contrasting policy approaches to bTB control in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Chen, Chen-Chih; Pei, Kurtis Jai-Chyi; Liao, Ming-Huei; Mortenson, Jack A
Canine distemper is an acute or subacute, highly contagious, febrile disease that is caused by canine distemper virus (CDV). Two CDV-infected wild Taiwan ferret-badgers (Melogale moschata subauantiaca) were found in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, in 2005. Each case was confirmed by detecting CDV RNA in lung and brain tissues. A suspected third case was detected based on clinical signs and histology. These cases are the first record of wildlife infected by CDV in Taiwan. It is believed that domestic dogs or coexisting wild carnivores infected with the virus were the most likely source, and a serologic survey is needed to fully understand the host range of this virus in Taiwan. In addition, further genetic sequencing is needed to determine the source of these CDV cases.
Cross, Paul; St John, Freya A V; Khan, Saira; Petroczi, Andrea
Effective management of biological resources is contingent upon stakeholder compliance with rules. With respect to disease management, partial compliance can undermine attempts to control diseases within human and wildlife populations. Estimating non-compliance is notoriously problematic as rule-breakers may be disinclined to admit to transgressions. However, reliable estimates of rule-breaking are critical to policy design. The European badger (Meles meles) is considered an important vector in the transmission and maintenance of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle herds. Land managers in high bTB prevalence areas of the UK can cull badgers under license. However, badgers are also known to be killed illegally. The extent of illegal badger killing is currently unknown. Herein we report on the application of three innovative techniques (Randomized Response Technique (RRT); projective questioning (PQ); brief implicit association test (BIAT)) for investigating illegal badger killing by livestock farmers across Wales. RRT estimated that 10.4% of farmers killed badgers in the 12 months preceding the study. Projective questioning responses and implicit associations relate to farmers' badger killing behavior reported via RRT. Studies evaluating the efficacy of mammal vector culling and vaccination programs should incorporate estimates of non-compliance. Mitigating the conflict concerning badgers as a vector of bTB requires cross-disciplinary scientific research, departure from deep-rooted positions, and the political will to implement evidence-based management.
Background The frequent occurrence of ferret badger-associated human rabies cases in southeast China highlights the lack of laboratory-based surveillance and urges revisiting the potential importance of this animal in rabies transmission. To determine if the ferret badgers actually contribute to human and dog rabies cases, and the possible origin of the ferret badger-associated rabies in the region, an active rabies survey was conducted to determine the frequency of rabies infection and seroprevalence in dogs and ferret badgers. Methods A retrospective survey on rabies epidemics was performed in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in southeast China. The brain tissues from ferret badgers and dogs were assayed by fluorescent antibody test. Rabies virus was isolated and sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. The sera from ferret badgers and dogs were titrated using rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) test. Results The ferret badgers presented a higher percentage of rabies seroconversion than dogs did in the endemic region, reaching a maximum of 95% in the collected samples. Nine ferret badger-associated rabies viruses were isolated, sequenced, and were phylogenetically clustered as a separate group. Nucleotide sequence revealed 99.4-99.8% homology within the ferret badger isolates, and 83-89% homology to the dog isolates in the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes in the same rabies endemic regions. Conclusions Our data suggest ferret badger-associated rabies has likely formed as an independent enzootic originating from dogs during the long-term rabies infestation in southeast China. The eventual role of FB rabies in public health remains unclear. However, management of ferret badger bites, rabies awareness and control in the related regions should be an immediate need. PMID:20691095
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Badger Creek Limited; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market- Based Rate...-referenced proceeding, of Badger Creek Limited's application for market-based rate authority, with...
Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.
We evaluated how American badgers (Taxidea taxus) might exert selective pressure on black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) to develop antipredator defenses. In a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in South Dakota, badgers concentrated their activities where burrow openings and prairie dogs were abundant, a selective behavior that was exhibited by ferrets in the same colony. Badgers excavated burrows more often when in areas recently used by a ferret, suggesting that badgers hunt ferrets or steal prey from ferrets, or both. We also conducted an analysis of survival studies for ferrets and Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii) released onto prairie dog colonies. This polecat is the ferret's ecological equivalent but evolved without a digging predator. Badgers accounted for 30.0% of predation on polecats and 5.5% of predation on ferrets. In contrast, both polecats and ferrets have evolutionary experience with canids, providing a plausible explanation for the similar relative impact of coyotes (Canis latrans) on them (65.0% and 67.1% of predation, respectively). We hypothesize that ferrets and badgers coexist because ferrets are superior at exploitation competition and are efficient at avoiding badgers, and badgers are superior at interference competition.
... Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, QPS, and Service First, Menomonee Falls, WI; Amended Certification Regarding..., including on-site leased workers from Staff One, Badger Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, and QPS, Menomonee Falls... Maysteel, LLC, including on-site leased workers from Staff One, Badger Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, QPS,...
Quinn, Jessica H; Girard, Yvette A; Gilardi, Kirsten; Hernandez, Yvette; Poppenga, Robert; Chomel, Bruno B; Foley, Janet E; Johnson, Christine K
Urban and agricultural land use may increase the risk of disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans as we share ever-shrinking and fragmented habitat. American badgers (Taxidae taxus), a species of special concern in California, USA, live in proximity to urban development and often share habitat with livestock and small peridomestic mammals. As such, they may be susceptible to pathogens commonly transmitted at this interface and to anticoagulant rodenticides used to control nuisance wildlife on agricultural lands. We evaluated free-ranging badgers in California for exposure to pathogens and anticoagulant rodenticides that pose a risk to wildlife, domestic animals, or public health. We found serologic evidence of badger exposure to Francisella tularensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, canine distemper virus, and three Bartonella species: B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. Badger tissues contained anticoagulant rodenticides brodifacoum and bromadiolone, commonly used to control periurban rodent pests. These data provide a preliminary investigation of pathogen and toxicant exposure in the wild badger population.
Since wild badgers were first connected with outbreaks of bovine TB (bTB) in UK cattle herds in the early 1970s, the question of whether to cull them to control infections in cattle has been the subject of a protracted public and policy controversy. Following the recommendation of Prof. John Krebs that a "scientifically based experimental trial" be carried out to test the effectiveness of badger culling, the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) was commissioned by Government in 1998. One of the largest field experiments ever conducted in the UK, the RBCT sought to recreate the conditions of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) across approximately 3000 km(2) of the South West of England. Despite widespread expectations that the RBCT would provide the necessary evidence to resolve the controversy, its findings have instead been widely contested and reinterpreted, while arguments over badger culling have become increasingly polarised. This paper will investigate the complexities of field experimental knowledge by following the story of the RBCT from this initial proposal, through processes of research design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and reinterpretation of the findings by multiple actors. It asks what kind of experiment the RBCT actually was, and examines how it has contributed to the protracted controversy over whether to cull badgers in order to control bTB in cattle. Finally, it will explore the wider implications of this case for contemporary debates over the contribution that RCTs can make to formulating public policy.
Qin, Yuyuan; Wang, Siqi; Wang, Rui; Bu, Haijun; Wang, Xuefeng; Wang, Xinran; Song, Fengqi; Wang, Baigeng; Wang, Guanghou
The spin-orbit coupling strength of graphene can be enhanced by depositing iridium nanoclusters. Weak localization is intensely suppressed near zero fields after the cluster deposition, rather than changing to weak anti-localization. Fitting the magnetoresistance gives the spin relaxation time, which increases by two orders with the application of a back gate. The spin relaxation time is found to be proportional to the electronic elastic scattering time, demonstrating the Elliot-Yafet spin relaxation mechanism. A sizeable Kane-Mele-like coupling strength of over 5.5 meV is determined by extrapolating the temperature dependence to zero.
Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.
During research on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), we repeatedly observed a female American badger (Taxidea taxus) hunting prairie dogs on a colony in southern Phillips County, Montana. During 1-14 June 2006, we observed 7 aboveground attacks (2 successful) and 3 successful excavations of prairie dogs. The locations and circumstances of aboveground attacks suggested that the badger improved her probability of capturing prairie dogs by planning the aboveground attacks based on perceptions of speeds, angles, distances, and predicted escape responses of prey. Our observations add to previous reports on the complex and varied predatory methods and cognitive capacities of badgers. These observations also underscore the individuality of predators and support the concept that predators are active participants in predator-prey interactions.
Aznar, I; More, S J; Frankena, K; De Jong, M C M
The aim of this study was to estimate the power, using simulation techniques, of a group randomized vaccine field trial designed to assess the effect of vaccination on Mycobacterium bovis transmission in badgers. The effects of sample size (recapture percentage), initial prevalence, sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic test, transmission rate between unvaccinated badgers, Vaccine Efficacy for Susceptibility (VES) and Vaccine Efficacy for Infectiousness (VEI), on study power were determined. Sample size had a small effect on power. Study power increased with increasing transmission rate between non-vaccinated badgers. Changes in VES had a higher impact on power than changes in VEI. However, the largest effect on study power was associated with changes in the specificity of the diagnostic test, within the range of input values that were used for all other modelled parameters. Specificity values below 99.4% yielded a study power below 50% even when sensitivity was 100% and, VEI and VES were both equal to 80%. The effect of changes in sensitivity on study power was much lower. The results from our study are in line with previous studies, as study power was dependent not only on sample size but on many other variables. In this study, additional variables were studied, i.e. test sensitivity and specificity. In the current vaccine trial, power was highly dependent on the specificity of the diagnostic test. Therefore, it is critical that the diagnostic test used in the badger vaccine trial is optimized to maximize test specificity.
This document presents a justification, proposal, and implementation plan for a comprehensive theatre arts program at Badger High School, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin that would offer a full schedule of amateur and professional arts programs involving the students and the community. The brief Justification section notes that every elementary and…
Zhang, Shoufeng; Liu, Ye; Hou, Yanli; Zhao, Jinghui; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Ying; Hu, Rongliang
An epidemic of Chinese ferret badger-associated human rabies was investigated in Wuyuan county, Jiangxi province and rabies viruses isolates from ferret badgers in different districts in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces were sequenced with their nucleotides and amino acids and aligned for epidemiological analysis. The results showed that the human rabies in Wuyuan are only associated with ferret badger bites; the rabies virus can be isolated in a high percentage of ferret badgers in the epidemic areas in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces; the isolates share the same molecular features in nucleotides and have characteristic amino acid signatures, i.e., 2 sites in the nucleoprotein and 3 sites in the glycoprotein, that are distinct from virus isolates from dogs in the same region. We conclude that rabies in Chinese ferret badgers has formed an independent transmission cycle and ferret badgers may serve as another important rabies reservoir independent of dog rabies in China.
Kim, Se Kwon; Ochoa, Héctor; Zarzuela, Ricardo; Tserkovnyak, Yaroslav
We study a spin Hamiltonian for spin-orbit-coupled ferromagnets on the honeycomb lattice. At sufficiently low temperatures supporting the ordered phase, the effective Hamiltonian for magnons, the quanta of spin-wave excitations, is shown to be equivalent to the Haldane model for electrons, which indicates the nontrivial topology of the band and the existence of the associated edge state. At high temperatures comparable to the ferromagnetic-exchange strength, we take the Schwinger-boson representation of spins, in which the mean-field spinon band forms a bosonic counterpart of the Kane-Mele model. The nontrivial geometry of the spinon band can be inferred by detecting the spin Nernst effect. A feasible experimental realization of the spin Hamiltonian is proposed.
Yu, Jie-Xiang; Che, J. G.
Depositing Au on a graphene derivative, which involves substituting four C atoms with three N atoms in a 3 ×3 cell graphene, we realized a topological insulator of the Kane-Mele model with a gap of 50 meV surrounding the Dirac point of graphene. In this material, we observed an anomalous band inversion (BI) protected by the symmetry with character e of group C3 V. The symmetry constrains two e bands with mirror-symmetry combination and mirror-antisymmetry combination (MAC) of Au and N orbitals degenerate at Γ , whereas the interaction of π* of graphene on the e -MAC band tends to lift this degenerate, resulting in that the π* and e -MAC band exchange their orbital components near Γ , causing thus a discontinued BI.
Orth, Christoph P.; Sekera, Tibor; Bruder, Christoph; Schmidt, Thomas L.
It has been proposed that adding disorder to a topologically trivial mercury telluride/cadmium telluride (HgTe/CdTe) quantum well can induce a transition to a topologically nontrivial state. The resulting state was termed topological Anderson insulator and was found in computer simulations of the Bernevig-Hughes-Zhang model. Here, we show that the topological Anderson insulator is a more universal phenomenon and also appears in the Kane-Mele model of topological insulators on a honeycomb lattice. We numerically investigate the interplay of the relevant parameters, and establish the parameter range in which the topological Anderson insulator exists. A staggered sublattice potential turns out to be a necessary condition for the transition to the topological Anderson insulator. For weak enough disorder, a calculation based on the lowest-order Born approximation reproduces quantitatively the numerical data. Our results thus considerably increase the number of candidate materials for the topological Anderson insulator phase. PMID:27045779
Sovada, M.A.; Roaldson, J.M.; Sargeant, A.B.
Although the American badger (Taxidea taxus) is common in grasslands and preys on a wide diversity of foods including birds, little is known about badger diet in areas where nesting ducks are common. Small mammals, primarily Muridae and Geomyidae, were the most common food items in the diet of badgers collected from west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during April-July 1987 through 1990, based on analysis of gastrointestinal tracts of 47 adult ( 1/4 -y-old) and 5 juvenile (<6-mo-old) badgers. Remains of mammals occurred in 98% of samples from adult badgers. Small quantities of insects were found in 40% of adult samples. Bird remains were in 32% of adult samples, most birds identified as Anatidae; ducks or ducklings occurred in 27% and duck eggs in 60% of those samples. Remains of reptiles, amphibians and mollusks were present, but were less common than other foods. Insects and bird eggs were more common during spring (April-May) than summer (June-July). Birds were more frequent in diets of adults than juvenile badgers.
Wright, David M; Reid, Neil; Ian Montgomery, W; Allen, Adrian R; Skuce, Robin A; Kao, Rowland R
Bovine TB (bTB) is endemic in Irish cattle and has eluded eradication despite considerable expenditure, amid debate over the relative roles of badgers and cattle in disease transmission. Using a comprehensive dataset from Northern Ireland (>10,000 km(2); 29,513 cattle herds), we investigated interactions between host populations in one of the first large-scale risk factor analyses for new herd breakdowns to combine data on both species. Cattle risk factors (movements, international imports, bTB history, neighbours with bTB) were more strongly associated with herd risk than area-level measures of badger social group density, habitat suitability or persecution (sett disturbance). Highest risks were in areas of high badger social group density and high rates of persecution, potentially representing both responsive persecution of badgers in high cattle risk areas and effects of persecution on cattle bTB risk through badger social group disruption. Average badger persecution was associated with reduced cattle bTB risk (compared with high persecution areas), so persecution may contribute towards sustaining bTB hotspots; findings with important implications for existing and planned disease control programmes.
Wright, David M.; Reid, Neil; Ian Montgomery, W.; Allen, Adrian R.; Skuce, Robin A.; Kao, Rowland R.
Bovine TB (bTB) is endemic in Irish cattle and has eluded eradication despite considerable expenditure, amid debate over the relative roles of badgers and cattle in disease transmission. Using a comprehensive dataset from Northern Ireland (>10,000 km2; 29,513 cattle herds), we investigated interactions between host populations in one of the first large-scale risk factor analyses for new herd breakdowns to combine data on both species. Cattle risk factors (movements, international imports, bTB history, neighbours with bTB) were more strongly associated with herd risk than area-level measures of badger social group density, habitat suitability or persecution (sett disturbance). Highest risks were in areas of high badger social group density and high rates of persecution, potentially representing both responsive persecution of badgers in high cattle risk areas and effects of persecution on cattle bTB risk through badger social group disruption. Average badger persecution was associated with reduced cattle bTB risk (compared with high persecution areas), so persecution may contribute towards sustaining bTB hotspots; findings with important implications for existing and planned disease control programmes. PMID:26279310
Scantlebury, M; Hutchings, M R; Allcroft, D J; Harris, S
Livestock face complex foraging options associated with optimizing nutrient intake while being able to avoid areas posing risk of parasites or disease. Areas of tall nutrient-rich swards around fecal deposits may be attractive for grazing, but might incur fitness costs from parasites. We use the example of dairy cattle and the risks of tuberculosis transmission posed to them by pastures contaminated with badger excreta to examine this trade-off. A risk may be posed either by aerosolized inhalation through investigation or by ingestion via grazing contaminated swards. We quantified the levels of investigation and grazing of 150 dairy cows at badger latrines (accumulations of feces and urine) and crossing points (urination-only sites). Grazing behavior was compared between strip-grazed and rotation-grazed fields. Strip grazing had fields subdivided for grazing periods of <24 h, whereas rotational grazing involved access to whole fields for 1 to 7 d each. A higher proportion of the herd investigated badger latrines than crossing points or controls. Cattle initially avoided swards around badger latrines but not around crossing points. Avoidance periods were shorter in strip-compared with rotation-grazing systems. In rotation-grazing management, latrines were avoided for longer times, but there were more investigative contacts than with strip-grazing management. If investigation is a major route of tuberculosis transmission, the risk to cattle is greatest in extensive rotation-grazing systems. However, if ingestion of fresh urine is the primary method of transmission, strip-grazing management may pose a greater threat. Farming systems affect the level and type of contact between livestock and wildlife excreta and thus the risks of disease.
Colin Badger was an adult educator who contributed to Victorian adult education in Australia. After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 1936, Badger became a tutor for the South Australian Workers Education Association (WEA), where he became aware of the possibilities of adult education. After study in London, he returned to Australia to…
Costello, E; Flynn, O; Quigley, F; O'Grady, D; Griffin, J; Clegg, T; McGrath, G
An analysis of the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis in badgers was made in four selected areas of the Republic of Ireland in which an intensive badger removal programme was being carried out over a period of five years. Tissue samples from 2310 badgers were cultured. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis with IS6110, polymorphic GC-rich sequence (PGRS) and direct repeat sequence (DR) probes was applied to the isolates from 398 badgers, and 52 different rflp types were identified. Most of the isolates belonged to seven predominant types, and the other 45 types were represented by few isolates. An analysis suggests that some of these 45 types may have been introduced by the inward migration of badgers and others may have been the result of genetic changes to one of the prevalent types. The badgers were divided into groups on the basis of the sett at which they were captured, and RFLP typing was applied to isolates from two or more badgers from 85 groups. Multiple RFLP types were identified among isolates from 50 of these groups, suggesting that badgers probably moved frequently between group territories.
Zare, Mohammad H.; Fazileh, Farhad; Shahbazi, Farhad
The classical phase diagram of the Kane-Mele-Heisenberg model is obtained using three complementary methods: Luttinger-Tisza, variational minimization, and the iterative minimization method. Six distinct phases were obtained in the space of the couplings. Three phases are commensurate with long-range ordering: planar Néel states in horizontal plane (phase I), planar states in the plane vertical to the horizontal plane (phase VI), and collinear states normal to the horizontal plane (phase II). However, the other three are infinitely degenerate due to the frustrating competition between the couplings, and they are characterized by a manifold of incommensurate wave vectors. These phases are planar helical states in a horizontal plane (phase III), planar helical states in a vertical plane (phase IV), and non-coplanar states (phase V). Employing the linear spin-wave analysis, it is found that the quantum fluctuations select a set of symmetrically equivalent states in phase III through the quantum order-by-disorder mechanism. Based on some heuristic arguments, it is argued that the same scenario may also occur in the other two frustrated phases VI and V.
Burns, Alan W.
A hydrologic analysis of the proposed Badger-Beaver Creeks artificial-recharge project in Morgan County, Colo., was made with the aid of three digital computer models: A canal-distribution model, a ground-water flow model, and a stream-aquifer model. Statistical summaries of probable diversions from the South Platte River based on a 27-year period of historical flows indicate that an average-annual diversion of 96,000 acre-feet and a median-annual diversion of 43,000 acre-feet would be available. Diversions would sustain water in ponds for waterfowl habitat for an average of about five months per year, with a miximum pond surface area of about 300 acres with the median diversions and a maximum pond surface area of about 1,250 acres at least one-half of the years with the historic diversions. If the annual diversion were 43,000 acre-feet, recharge to the two alluvial aquifers would raise water levels sufficiently to create flowing streams in the channels of Beaver and Badger Creeks while allowing an increase in current ground-water pumping. The only area of significant waterlogging would be along the proposed delivery canal on the west edge of Badger Creek valley. If the total water available were diverted, the aquifer system could not transmit the water fast enough to the irrigation areas to avoid considerable waterlogging in the recharge areas. The impact of the proposed project on the South Platte River basin would be minimal once the ground-water system attained steady-state conditions, but that may take decades with a uniform diversion of the 43,000 acre-feet annually. (USGS)
Godfray, H Charles J; Donnelly, Christl A; Kao, Rowland R; Macdonald, David W; McDonald, Robbie A; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Wood, James L N; Woodroffe, Rosie; Young, Douglas B; McLean, Angela R
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a very important disease of cattle in Great Britain, where it has been increasing in incidence and geographical distribution. In addition to cattle, it infects other species of domestic and wild animals, in particular the European badger (Meles meles). Policy to control bTB is vigorously debated and contentious because of its implications for the livestock industry and because some policy options involve culling badgers, the most important wildlife reservoir. This paper describes a project to provide a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bTB, couched in terms that are as policy-neutral as possible. Each evidence statement is placed into one of four categories describing the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material.
Ethier, Danielle M; Sayers, Joshua B; Kyle, Christopher J; Nocera, Joseph J; Ojkic, Davor; Campbell, Douglas
American badgers ( Taxidea taxus jacksoni) at the periphery of the species' range in Ontario, Canada, are listed as endangered because of an estimated population size of <200 mature individuals. The main threats faced by this population include habitat loss and road mortality. However, on 18 November 2013, a radio-implanted badger was found nonresponsive in an agricultural field with signs consistent with canine distemper virus infection, which was subsequently confirmed. This prompted our investigation into the occurrence of pathogens in this endangered carnivore to better quantify the level of risk infectious disease poses to population persistence. We examined serum samples from nine live-trapped individuals and 27 whole badger specimens submitted for postmortem examination. We found evidence of exposure to canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and leptospires. However, infection associated with disease was not the leading cause of mortality. Future research into the effects of disease on kit survival and a comprehensive understanding of disease severity and spread from reservoir populations (e.g., raccoons [ Procyon lotor ] and striped skunks [ Mephitis mephitis ]) to badgers will be of particular importance to the conservation of this endangered population.
Newell, D. G.; Clifton-Hadley, R. S.; Cheeseman, C. L.
Bovine tuberculosis remains a significant problem in some parts of Great Britain and Ireland largely because of a reservoir of infection in badgers. Little is currently known about the immunopathology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the badger. Badgers, from 31 social groups, in a study area of the Cotswold escarpment, have been trapped and sampled from 1981 to 1995. Serum antibody responses directed against the 25 kDa antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis have been studied in detail in a selected social group (JM) which has endemic infection. Sequential sera from 44 badgers were studied and results compared with culture from faeces, urine, tracheal aspirates, bite wound swabs and at post mortem. The results indicate that some badgers (about 10%) remain uninfected despite exposure to endemic M. bovis infection within the social group. In culture-positive animals active excretion of organisms is not necessarily concomitant with seropositivity. Conversely, seropositivity is not an indicator that culture positivity is present or imminent. This is particularly true in cubs when a transient seropositivity can occur within the first 6-8 months of life but these animals can remain culture-negative for up to 5 years. Western blotting confirms that at least some of these antibodies, detectable by ELISA in the culture-negative cubs, are directed against the 25 kDa M. bovis antigen. In contrast antibodies detectable in the culture-positive animals do not Western blot prior to a positive culture. Thus, differential reactivity in Western blotting may distinguish between serum antibodies indicative of potentially culture-positive animals and animals which will remain culture-negative. PMID:9129594
Newell, D G; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Cheeseman, C L
Bovine tuberculosis remains a significant problem in some parts of Great Britain and Ireland largely because of a reservoir of infection in badgers. Little is currently known about the immunopathology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the badger. Badgers, from 31 social groups, in a study area of the Cotswold escarpment, have been trapped and sampled from 1981 to 1995. Serum antibody responses directed against the 25 kDa antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis have been studied in detail in a selected social group (JM) which has endemic infection. Sequential sera from 44 badgers were studied and results compared with culture from faeces, urine, tracheal aspirates, bite wound swabs and at post mortem. The results indicate that some badgers (about 10%) remain uninfected despite exposure to endemic M. bovis infection within the social group. In culture-positive animals active excretion of organisms is not necessarily concomitant with seropositivity. Conversely, seropositivity is not an indicator that culture positivity is present or imminent. This is particularly true in cubs when a transient seropositivity can occur within the first 6-8 months of life but these animals can remain culture-negative for up to 5 years. Western blotting confirms that at least some of these antibodies, detectable by ELISA in the culture-negative cubs, are directed against the 25 kDa M. bovis antigen. In contrast antibodies detectable in the culture-positive animals do not Western blot prior to a positive culture. Thus, differential reactivity in Western blotting may distinguish between serum antibodies indicative of potentially culture-positive animals and animals which will remain culture-negative.
Ma, Tianxing; Lin, Hai-Qing; Gubernatis, James E.
By using the constrained-phase quantum Monte Carlo method, we performed a systematic study of the pairing correlations in the ground state of the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model on a honeycomb lattice. We find that pairing correlations with d + id symmetry dominate close to half filling, but pairing correlations with p+ip symmetry dominate as hole doping moves the system below three-quarters filling. We correlate these behaviors of the pairing correlations with the topology of the Fermi surfaces of the non-interacting problem. We also find that the effective pairing correlation is enhanced greatly as the interaction increases, and these superconducting correlations aremore » robust against varying the spin-orbit coupling strength. Finally, our numerical results suggest a possible way to realize spin triplet superconductivity in doped honeycomb-like materials or ultracold atoms in optical traps.« less
Heltemes, T. A.; Moses, G. A.
The BADGER equation of state library was developed to enable inertial confinement fusion plasma codes to more accurately model plasmas in the high-density, low-temperature regime. The code had the capability to calculate 1- and 2-T plasmas using the Thomas-Fermi model and an individual electron accounting model. Ion equation of state data can be calculated using an ideal gas model or via a quotidian equation of state with scaled binding energies. Electron equation of state data can be calculated via the ideal gas model or with an adaptation of the screened hydrogenic model with ℓ-splitting. The ionization and equation of state calculations can be done in local thermodynamic equilibrium or in a non-LTE mode using a variant of the Busquet equivalent temperature method. The code was written as a stand-alone Fortran library for ease of implementation by external codes. EOS results for aluminum are presented that show good agreement with the SESAME library and ionization calculations show good agreement with the FLYCHK code. Program summaryProgram title: BADGERLIB v1.0 Catalogue identifier: AEND_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEND_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 41 480 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 2 904 451 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran 90. Computer: 32- or 64-bit PC, or Mac. Operating system: Windows, Linux, MacOS X. RAM: 249.496 kB plus 195.630 kB per isotope record in memory Classification: 19.1, 19.7. Nature of problem: Equation of State (EOS) calculations are necessary for the accurate simulation of high energy density plasmas. Historically, most EOS codes used in these simulations have relied on an ideal gas model. This model is inadequate for low
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Chiou, Hue-Ying; Jeng, Chian-Ren; Wang, Hurng-Yi; Inoue, Satoshi; Chan, Fang-Tse; Liao, Jiunn-Wang; Chiou, Ming-Tang; Pang, Victor Fei
Until Rabies virus (RABV) infection in Taiwan ferret badgers (TWFB; Melogale moschata subaurantiaca) was diagnosed in mid-June 2013, Taiwan had been considered rabies free for >50 yr. Although rabies has also been reported in ferret badgers in China, the pathologic changes and distribution of viral antigens of ferret badger-associated rabies have not been described. We performed a comprehensive pathologic study and molecular detection of rabies virus in three necropsied rabid TWFBs and evaluated archival paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of six other TWFBs necropsied during 2004 and 2012. As in other RABV-infected species, the characteristic pathologic changes in TWFBs were nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, ganglionitis, and the formation of typical intracytoplasmic Negri bodies, with the brain stem most affected. There was also variable spongiform degeneration, primarily in the perikaryon of neurons and neuropil, in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and brain stem. In nonnervous system tissues, representative lesions included adrenal necrosis and lymphocytic interstitial sialadenitis. Immunohistochemical staining and fluorescent antibody test demonstrated viral antigens in the perikaryon of the neurons and axonal or dendritic processes throughout the nervous tissue and in the macrophages in various tissues. Similar to raccoons (Procyon lotor) and skunks (Mephitidae), the nervous tissue of rabid TWFBs displayed widely dispersed lesions, RABV antigens, and large numbers of Negri bodies. We traced the earliest rabid TWFB case back to 2004.
Monaco, Domenico; Tauber, Clément
We establish a connection between two recently proposed approaches to the understanding of the geometric origin of the Fu-Kane-Mele invariant FKMin Z_2 , arising in the context of two-dimensional time-reversal symmetric topological insulators. On the one hand, the Z_2 invariant can be formulated in terms of the Berry connection and the Berry curvature of the Bloch bundle of occupied states over the Brillouin torus. On the other, using techniques from the theory of bundle gerbes, it is possible to provide an expression for FKM containing the square root of the Wess-Zumino amplitude for a certain U(N)-valued field over the Brillouin torus. We link the two formulas by showing directly the equality between the above-mentioned Wess-Zumino amplitude and the Berry phase, as well as between their square roots. An essential tool of independent interest is an equivariant version of the adjoint Polyakov-Wiegmann formula for fields T^2 → U(N) , of which we provide a proof employing only basic homotopy theory and circumventing the language of bundle gerbes.
Swinton, J; Tuyttens, F; MacDonald, D; Nokes, D J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R
In this paper we use mathematical modelling to consider the broad advantages and disadvantages of fertility control over lethal control for bovine tuberculosis in badger populations. We use a deliberately simple model, attempting to capture only the key transmission processes. The model is parametrized with reference to the long-term Woodchester Park study. Estimates of mortality rate from this study suggest no significant extra mortality risk for animals with evidence of infection as indicated by the presence of anti-Mycobacterium bovis antibodies or M. bovis isolation. We find that large reductions in prevalence are sometimes the consequence of only moderate reductions in population numbers. If we assume that the act of control does not in itself affect transmission rates, then as far as eradication is concerned, both fertility control and mortality control operate through the same epidemiological mechanism, the removal of susceptibles: if one is in principle capable of keeping a population low enough to be infection free then so is the other. It is necessary to continue either form of control at regular intervals to maintain a constant level of infection in the long term. If control were to be stopped, return to precontrol levels of badger population and infection prevalence would be expected within a few years. Fertility control is less effective in reducing population density than lethal control since it can only act, at maximum, to remove one age cohort per year. It is also less effective in reducing transmission as it can only ever remove susceptibles, while lethal control also removes infectious badgers. However, if the social disturbance caused by lethal control does in fact increase contact rates for the remaining infectious badgers, the relative efficacies of the two strategies become a great deal less clear. While we have no quantitative data on the extent to which social perturbation does act to promote transmission, model simulations show that it is
Swinton, J; Tuyttens, F; MacDonald, D; Nokes, D J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R
In this paper we use mathematical modelling to consider the broad advantages and disadvantages of fertility control over lethal control for bovine tuberculosis in badger populations. We use a deliberately simple model, attempting to capture only the key transmission processes. The model is parametrized with reference to the long-term Woodchester Park study. Estimates of mortality rate from this study suggest no significant extra mortality risk for animals with evidence of infection as indicated by the presence of anti-Mycobacterium bovis antibodies or M. bovis isolation. We find that large reductions in prevalence are sometimes the consequence of only moderate reductions in population numbers. If we assume that the act of control does not in itself affect transmission rates, then as far as eradication is concerned, both fertility control and mortality control operate through the same epidemiological mechanism, the removal of susceptibles: if one is in principle capable of keeping a population low enough to be infection free then so is the other. It is necessary to continue either form of control at regular intervals to maintain a constant level of infection in the long term. If control were to be stopped, return to precontrol levels of badger population and infection prevalence would be expected within a few years. Fertility control is less effective in reducing population density than lethal control since it can only act, at maximum, to remove one age cohort per year. It is also less effective in reducing transmission as it can only ever remove susceptibles, while lethal control also removes infectious badgers. However, if the social disturbance caused by lethal control does in fact increase contact rates for the remaining infectious badgers, the relative efficacies of the two strategies become a great deal less clear. While we have no quantitative data on the extent to which social perturbation does act to promote transmission, model simulations show that it is
Zhao, Jinghui; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Shoufeng; Fang, Lijun; Zhang, Fei; Hu, Rongliang
Ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) are a major reservoir of rabies virus in southeastern China. Oral immunization has been shown to be a practical method for wildlife rabies management in Europe and North America. Two groups of 20 ferret badgers were given a single oral dose of a recombinant canine adenovirus-rabies vaccine, CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP, or an experimental attenuated rabies virus vaccine, SRV9. At 21 days, all ferret badgers had seroconverted, with serum virus-neutralizing antibodies ranging from 0.1 to 4.5 IU/mL. Titers were >0.50 IU/mL (an acceptable level) in 17/20 and 16/20 animals receiving CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP or SRV9, respectively. The serologic results indicate that the recombinant CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP is at least as effective as the attenuated rabies virus vaccine. Both may be considered for additional research as oral rabies vaccine candidates for ferret badgers.
Emblidge, Patrick G.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.; Aiello, Christina M.; Walde, Andrew D.
In the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States, adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii typically experience high survival, but population declines associated with anthropogenic impacts led to their listing as a threatened Species under the US Endangered Species Act in 1990. Predation of adult tortoises is not often considered a significant threat as they are adapted to deter most predation attempts. Despite these adaptations, some populations have experienced elevated mortality attributed to predators, suggesting that predation pressure may occasionally increase. During the tortoise activity seasons of 2012 and 2013, we observed unsustainably high mortality in 1 of 4 populations of adult desert tortoises (22 and 84%, respectively) in the western Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow, CA. Photographic evidence from trail cameras and examination of carcass condition suggest that American badgers Taxidea taxus— a sometimes cited but unconfirmed predator of adult tortoises — may have been responsible for some of the mortality observed. We discuss the American badger as a plausible predator of a local tortoise population, but recommend further investigation into these events and the impacts such mortality can have on tortoise persistence.
Barker, Richard J; Schofield, Matthew R; Wright, Janine A; Frantz, Alain C; Stevens, Chris
Motivated by field sampling of DNA fragments, we describe a general model for capture-recapture modeling of samples drawn one at a time in continuous-time. Our model is based on Poisson sampling where the sampling time may be unobserved. We show that previously described models correspond to partial likelihoods from our Poisson model and their use may be justified through arguments concerning S- and Bayes-ancillarity of discarded information. We demonstrate a further link to continuous-time capture-recapture models and explain observations that have been made about this class of models in terms of partial ancillarity. We illustrate application of our models using data from the European badger (Meles meles) in which genotyping of DNA fragments was subject to error.
Fedriani, Jose M; Palomares, Francisco; Delibes, Miguel
Previous studies carried out in the Doñana National Park reported that red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were killed by Iberian lynxes (Lynx pardinus), whereas similar-sized Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) were not. Therefore, we predicted that fox would avoid lynx predation risk by niche segregation whereas we did not expect such a segregation between badger and lynx. As an approach for evaluating our predictions, we compared their diet, activity patterns, and habitat use in an area of Doñana where the three carnivores are sympatric. Lynxes preyed almost uniquely on European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and though badgers and foxes were omnivorous, rabbits also were a major prey, resulting in high overlaps throughout the year. However, badgers preyed largely on small rabbits, whereas lynxes and foxes preyed mainly on medium-sized rabbits. There were also interspecific differences in activity patterns. Maximum levels of activity among lynxes were during sunrise and dusk (49-67%). Foxes were most active during dusk and night (34-67%), and badgers were mainly nocturnal (53-87%). Though there were seasonal differences in the amount of activity of each species, specific activity patterns changed little throughout the year. There was a strong difference in annual habitat use by the three species (P < 0.0001). Lynxes used mainly the Mediterranean scrubland during both the active (PMAX) and the resting (PMIN) periods. During PMIN, foxes used the Mediterranean scrubland intensively (40% of locations on average), but during PMAX, they used the pastureland much more intensively despite this habitat being poorer in their main prey (rabbits). As a consequence, foxes and lynxes exhibited segregation in their habitat use during the active period. Badgers also used the Mediterranean scrubland intensively, especially during PMIN. There were no seasonal differences in habitat use for lynx and fox, but there was for badgers (P < 0.015). Within the study area, the three species
Ma, Tianxing; Lin, Hai-Qing; Gubernatis, James E.
By using the constrained-phase quantum Monte Carlo method, we performed a systematic study of the pairing correlations in the ground state of the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model on a honeycomb lattice. We find that pairing correlations with d + id symmetry dominate close to half filling, but pairing correlations with p+ip symmetry dominate as hole doping moves the system below three-quarters filling. We correlate these behaviors of the pairing correlations with the topology of the Fermi surfaces of the non-interacting problem. We also find that the effective pairing correlation is enhanced greatly as the interaction increases, and these superconducting correlations are robust against varying the spin-orbit coupling strength. Finally, our numerical results suggest a possible way to realize spin triplet superconductivity in doped honeycomb-like materials or ultracold atoms in optical traps.
Proulx, Gilbert; MacKenzie, Neil
Over the past decade, extensive poisoning campaigns have been conducted in southern Saskatchewan to control Richardson's ground squirrel Spermophilus richardsonii (Sabine, 1822) populations. Such campaigns might impact on predator abundance by decreasing prey levels, and also through secondary poisoning. Using spotlighting, we investigated the relative abundance of American badgers Taxidea taxus (Schreber, 1777) and red fox Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) in 2 study areas with road access and crops, but with different levels of poisoning. In the study area with relatively low poisoning (19.6% of the area traversed by roads), there were 2.2 times more American badgers per km of road and 6.4 times more red foxes per km than in the study area with high poisoning (89.7% of the area). It is recommended that an Integrated Pest Management program be developed to conserve natural predators across landscapes.
Installation Restoration Program Environmental Technology Development. Task Order 3. Use of Activated Carbon for Treatment of Explosives-Contaminated Ground Water at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP)
PROGRAM ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT Task Order - 3 Use of Activated Carbon for Treatment of Explosives-Contaminated Groundwater at the...CARBON FOR TREATMENT OF EXPLOSIVES-CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER AT THE BADGER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT (BAAP) Final Report Distribution Unlimited August 1989... Treatment of Explosj~ves Contaminated Groundwater. 121 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Walter J. Wuicik: William L. Lowe; Peter 3. Marks- 13.. TYPE OF REPORT 113b
Gerrikagoitia, Xeider; Gil, Horacio; García-Esteban, Coral; Anda, Pedro; Juste, R. A.
The genus Bartonella was detected by PCR in 5.7% (12/212) of wild carnivores from Northern Spain. Based on hybridization and sequence analyses, Bartonella henselae was identified in a wildcat (Felis silvestris), Bartonella rochalimae in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and in a wolf (Canis lupus), and Bartonella sp. in badgers (Meles meles). PMID:22138983
Lei, Yong-Liang; Wang, Xiao-Guang; Tao, Xiao-Yan; Li, Hao; Meng, Sheng-Li; Chen, Xiu-Ying; Liu, Fu-Ming; Ye, Bi-Feng; Tang, Qing
Based on sequencing the full-length genomes of four Chinese Ferret-Badger and dog, we analyze the properties of rabies viruses genetic variation in molecular level, get the information about rabies viruses prevalence and variation in Zhejiang, and enrich the genome database of rabies viruses street strains isolated from China. Rabies viruses in suckling mice were isolated, overlapped fragments were amplified by RT-PCR and full-length genomes were assembled to analyze the nucleotide and deduced protein similarities and phylogenetic analyses from Chinese Ferret-Badger, dog, sika deer, vole, used vaccine strain were determined. The four full-length genomes were sequenced completely and had the same genetic structure with the length of 11, 923 nts or 11, 925 nts including 58 nts-Leader, 1353 nts-NP, 894 nts-PP, 609 nts-MP, 1575 nts-GP, 6386 nts-LP, and 2, 5, 5 nts- intergenic regions(IGRs), 423 nts-Pseudogene-like sequence (psi), 70 nts-Trailer. The four full-length genomes were in accordance with the properties of Rhabdoviridae Lyssa virus by BLAST and multi-sequence alignment. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences among Chinese strains had the highest similarity, especially among animals of the same species. Of the four full-length genomes, the similarity in amino acid level was dramatically higher than that in nucleotide level, so the nucleotide mutations happened in these four genomes were most synonymous mutations. Compared with the reference rabies viruses, the lengths of the five protein coding regions had no change, no recombination, only with a few point mutations. It was evident that the five proteins appeared to be stable. The variation sites and types of the four genomes were similar to the reference vaccine or street strains. And the four strains were genotype 1 according to the multi-sequence and phylogenetic analyses, which possessed the distinct district characteristics of China. Therefore, these four rabies viruses are likely to be street viruses
Bhatta, Ram S.; Iyer, Prasad P.; Dhinojwala, Ali; Tsige, Mesfin
Understanding the acid-base interactions is important in chemistry, biology and material science as it helps to rationalize materials properties such as interfacial properties, wetting, adhesion and adsorption. Quantitative relation between changes in enthalpy (ΔH) and frequency shift (Δν) during the acid-base complexation is particularly important. We investigate ΔH and Δν of twenty-five complexes of acids (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol and phenol) with bases (benzene, pyridine, DMSO, Et2O and THF) in CCl4 using intermolecular perturbation theory calculations. ΔH and Δν of complexes of all alcohols with bases except benzene fall in the range from -14 kJ mol-1 to -30 kJ mol-1 and 215 cm-1 to 523 cm-1, respectively. Smaller values of ΔH (-2 kJ mol-1 to -6 kJ mol-1) and Δν (23 cm-1 to 70 cm-1) are estimated for benzene. Linear correlations are found between theoretical and experimental values of ΔH as well as Δν. For all the studied complexes, ΔH varies linearly (R2 ≥ 0.97) with Δν concurrent with the Badger-Bauer rule yielding the average slope and intercept of 0.053(± 0.002) kJ mol-1 cm and 2.15(± 0.56) kJ mol-1, respectively.
Rico, Yessica; Ethier, Danielle M; Davy, Christina M; Sayers, Josh; Weir, Richard D; Swanson, Bradley J; Nocera, Joseph J; Kyle, Christopher J
Small and isolated populations often exhibit low genetic diversity due to drift and inbreeding, but may simultaneously harbour adaptive variation. We investigate spatial distributions of immunogenetic variation in American badger subspecies (Taxidea taxus), as a proxy for evaluating their evolutionary potential across the northern extent of the species' range. We compared genetic structure of 20 microsatellites and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC DRB exon 2) to evaluate whether small, isolated populations show low adaptive polymorphism relative to large and well-connected populations. Our results suggest that gene flow plays a prominent role in shaping MHC polymorphism across large spatial scales, while the interplay between gene flow and selection was stronger towards the northern peripheries. The similarity of MHC alleles within subspecies relative to their neutral genetic differentiation suggests that adaptive divergence among subspecies can be maintained despite ongoing gene flow along subspecies boundaries. Neutral genetic diversity was low in small relative to large populations, but MHC diversity within individuals was high in small populations. Despite reduced neutral genetic variation, small and isolated populations harbour functional variation that likely contribute to the species evolutionary potential at the northern range. Our findings suggest that conservation approaches should focus on managing adaptive variation across the species range rather than protecting subspecies per se.
Pettett, Carly E; Johnson, Paul J; Moorhouse, Tom P; Hambly, Catherine; Speakman, John R; Macdonald, David W
Failure to balance daily energy expenditure (DEE) with energy intake can have an impact on survival and reproduction, and therefore on the persistence of populations. Here we study the DEE of the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), which is declining in the UK. We hypothesise that there is a gradient of suitable habitat for hedgehogs in rural areas, which is a result of fewer food resources, a higher risk from predation by badgers (Meles meles) and colder ambient temperatures, as distance to the nearest building increases. We used the doubly labelled water method to obtain 44 measurements of DEE from hedgehogs on four predominately arable sites, to determine the energetic costs associated with proximity to buildings, on sites with and without badgers. The mean±s.e.m. DEE was 508.9±34.8 kJ day(-1) DEE increased the further a hedgehog was from buildings during the study, possibly as they ranged larger distances on arable land, supporting the hypothesis that hedgehogs select villages owing to the lower energy demands in comparison to arable farmland. Hedgehogs had an approximately 30% lower DEE on sites with badgers. We speculate that on badger-occupied sites, hedgehogs may restrict movement and foraging in response to a threat from predation and thus have reduced DEE. Therefore, hedgehogs may also seek refuge in villages where the perceived threat of predation is lower and foraging is unrestricted. In a broader context, we demonstrate that individual differences in DEE can aid in understanding habitat selection in a patchily distributed species.
Tsai, K J; Hsu, W C; Chuang, W C; Chang, J C; Tu, Y C; Tsai, H J; Liu, H F; Wang, F I; Lee, S H
Taiwan had been declared rabies-free in humans and domestic animals for five decades until July 2013, when surprisingly, three Formosan ferret badgers (FB) were diagnosed with rabies. Since then, a variety of wild carnivores and other wildlife species have been found dead, neurologically ill, or exhibiting aggressive behaviors around the island. To determine the affected animal species, geographic areas, and environments, animal bodies were examined for rabies by direct fluorescent antibody test (FAT). The viral genomes from the brains of selected rabid animals were sequenced for the phylogeny of rabies viruses (RABV). Out of a total of 1016 wild carnivores, 276/831 (33.2%) Formosan FBs were FAT positive, with occasional biting incidents in 1 dog and suspected spillover in 1 house shrew. All other animals tested, including dogs, cats, bats, mice, house shrews, and squirrels, were rabies-negative. The rabies was badger-associated and confined to nine counties/cities in sylvatic environments. Phylogeny of nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes from 59 Formosan FB-associated RABV revealed them to be clustered in two distinct groups, TWI and TWII, consistent with the geographic segregation into western and eastern Taiwan provided by the Central Mountain Range and into northern rabies-free and central-southern rabies-affected regions by a river bisecting western Taiwan. The unique features of geographic and genetic segregation, sylvatic enzooticity, and FB-association of RABV suggest a logical strategy for the control of rabies in this nation.
Kierepka, E M; Latch, E K
Landscape genetics is a powerful tool for conservation because it identifies landscape features that are important for maintaining genetic connectivity between populations within heterogeneous landscapes. However, using landscape genetics in poorly understood species presents a number of challenges, namely, limited life history information for the focal population and spatially biased sampling. Both obstacles can reduce power in statistics, particularly in individual-based studies. In this study, we genotyped 233 American badgers in Wisconsin at 12 microsatellite loci to identify alternative statistical approaches that can be applied to poorly understood species in an individual-based framework. Badgers are protected in Wisconsin owing to an overall lack in life history information, so our study utilized partial redundancy analysis (RDA) and spatially lagged regressions to quantify how three landscape factors (Wisconsin River, Ecoregions and land cover) impacted gene flow. We also performed simulations to quantify errors created by spatially biased sampling. Statistical analyses first found that geographic distance was an important influence on gene flow, mainly driven by fine-scale positive spatial autocorrelations. After controlling for geographic distance, both RDA and regressions found that Wisconsin River and Agriculture were correlated with genetic differentiation. However, only Agriculture had an acceptable type I error rate (3–5%) to be considered biologically relevant. Collectively, this study highlights the benefits of combining robust statistics and error assessment via simulations and provides a method for hypothesis testing in individual-based landscape genetics. PMID:26243136
Drabeck, Danielle H; Dean, Antony M; Jansa, Sharon A
Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis) prey upon and survive bites from venomous snakes (Family: Elapidae), but the molecular basis of their venom resistance is unknown. The muscular nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR), targeted by snake α-neurotoxins, has evolved in some venom-resistant mammals to no longer bind these toxins. Through phylogenetic analysis of mammalian nAChR sequences, we show that honey badgers, hedgehogs, and pigs have independently acquired functionally equivalent amino acid replacements in the toxin-binding site of this receptor. These convergent amino acid changes impede toxin binding by introducing a positively charged amino acid in place of an uncharged aromatic residue. In venom-resistant mongooses, different replacements at these same sites are glycosylated, which is thought to disrupt binding through steric effects. Thus, it appears that resistance to snake venom α-neurotoxin has evolved at least four times among mammals through two distinct biochemical mechanisms operating at the same sites on the same receptor.
Kierepka, E M; Latch, E K
Landscape genetics is a powerful tool for conservation because it identifies landscape features that are important for maintaining genetic connectivity between populations within heterogeneous landscapes. However, using landscape genetics in poorly understood species presents a number of challenges, namely, limited life history information for the focal population and spatially biased sampling. Both obstacles can reduce power in statistics, particularly in individual-based studies. In this study, we genotyped 233 American badgers in Wisconsin at 12 microsatellite loci to identify alternative statistical approaches that can be applied to poorly understood species in an individual-based framework. Badgers are protected in Wisconsin owing to an overall lack in life history information, so our study utilized partial redundancy analysis (RDA) and spatially lagged regressions to quantify how three landscape factors (Wisconsin River, Ecoregions and land cover) impacted gene flow. We also performed simulations to quantify errors created by spatially biased sampling. Statistical analyses first found that geographic distance was an important influence on gene flow, mainly driven by fine-scale positive spatial autocorrelations. After controlling for geographic distance, both RDA and regressions found that Wisconsin River and Agriculture were correlated with genetic differentiation. However, only Agriculture had an acceptable type I error rate (3-5%) to be considered biologically relevant. Collectively, this study highlights the benefits of combining robust statistics and error assessment via simulations and provides a method for hypothesis testing in individual-based landscape genetics.
Delahay, Richard J.
The importance of social- and kin-structuring of populations for the transmission of wildlife disease is widely assumed but poorly described. Social structure can help dilute risks of transmission for group members, and is relatively easy to measure, but kin-association represents a further level of population sub-structure that is harder to measure, particularly when association behaviours happen underground. Here, using epidemiological and molecular genetic data from a wild, high-density population of the European badger (Meles meles), we quantify the risks of infection with Mycobacterium bovis (the causative agent of tuberculosis) in cubs. The risk declines with increasing size of its social group, but this net dilution effect conceals divergent patterns of infection risk. Cubs only enjoy reduced risk when social groups have a higher proportion of test-negative individuals. Cubs suffer higher infection risk in social groups containing resident infectious adults, and these risks are exaggerated when cubs and infectious adults are closely related. We further identify key differences in infection risk associated with resident infectious males and females. We link our results to parent–offspring interactions and other kin-biased association, but also consider the possibility that susceptibility to infection is heritable. These patterns of infection risk help to explain the observation of a herd immunity effect in badgers following low-intensity vaccination campaigns. They also reveal kinship and kin-association to be important, and often hidden, drivers of disease transmission in social mammals. PMID:27440666
Reilly, L A; Courtenay, O
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a persistent problem in cattle herds in Great Britain and Ireland. Farm management and cattle husbandry practices can influence the risk of transmission of bTB and hence the likelihood of bTB breakdown (>or=1 reactor to the tuberculin skin test). Biological differences are expected in the transmission dynamics, and hence risk factors for bTB breakdown, on farms where infection persists in the herd compared to farms where infection is more sporadic or short-lived. Comparative case-control studies were performed to test farm management practices as potential risk factors for transient (under breakdown restrictions for
Sobrino, R; Cabezón, O; Millán, J; Pabón, M; Arnal, M C; Luco, D F; Gortázar, C; Dubey, J P; Almeria, S
Serum samples from 282 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii by the modified agglutination test using a cut-off value of 1:25. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 22 of 27 (81.5%) of Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 3 of 6 European wildcats (Felis silvestris), 66 of 102 (64.7%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 15 of 32 (46.9%) wolves (Canis lupus), 26 of 37 (70.3%) Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), 17 of 20 (85.0%) stone martens (Martes foina), 4 of 4 pine martens (Martes martes), 6 of 6 Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra), 4 of 4 polecats (Mustela putorius), 1 of 1 ferret (Mustela putorius furo), 13 of 21 (61.9%) European genets (Genetta genetta), and 13 of 22 (59.1%) Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon). Serological results indicated a widespread exposure to T. gondii among wild carnivores in Spain. The high T. gondii seroprevalence in Iberian lynx and the European wildcat reported here may be of epidemiologic significance because seropositive cats might have shed oocysts.
Morse, William C.
In a group situation, something goes wrong but no individual feels personal responsibility. This is called the "pie" phenomenon because everybody has a piece of the action, but all believe they are innocent. Each contributes to contagion and chaos but all say, "We didn't do nothing." In this article, the author, a pioneer in work with troubled…
Walker, J.P.; Fortmann, R.G.
Badger Basin Field, discovered in 1931, produces at stripper rates from low-permeability fractured sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation. Only 15% of the estimated 25 million barrels of oil originally in-place will be produced from the twenty-two attempted vertical completions. This project will increase recoverable reserves through a better understanding of the reservoir and factors which control production. Characterization of the reservoir has been accomplished through an integrated engineering, geological and geophysical approach. Production data, drilling and completion techniques, and relative location of wells on the anticline were reviewed and related to productivity. Literature was reviewed for interpretations on preferred flow directions on anticlinal structures. A structure map of the producing Frontier reservoir was constructed. Porosity development and its relationship to fracture networks was examined petrographically. Fractures in core were described and oriented using paleomagnetic techniques. Azimuths of fractures in outcrop were compared to fracture azimuths measured in the core. A 17 square-mile 3D seismic survey was designed, acquired and processed. Interpretation is being performed on a Sun workstation using Landmark Graphics software. Time-structure and amplitude-distribution maps will be constructed on three Frontier horizons. A location for a high-angle well will be chosen. The slant/horizontal test will be drilled and completed to increase recovery of reserves. Transfer of successful technologies will be accomplished by technical publications and presentations, and access to project materials, data, and field facilities.
Kinkorová, Judita; Topolčan, Ondřej
Biobanks are structured repositories of human tissue samples connected with specific information. They became an integral part of personalized medicine in the new millennium. At the European research area biobanks are isolated not well coordinated and connected to the network. European commission supports European infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure European Research Infrastructure Consortium), consortium of 54 members with more than 225 associated organizations, largely biobanks from over 30 countries. The aim is to support biomedical research using stored samples. Czech Republic is a member of the consortium as a national node BBMRI_CZ, consisting of five partners.
Lindeberg, Heli; Burchmore, Richard J. S.
Uterine secretory proteins protect the uterus and conceptuses against infection, facilitate implantation, control cellular damage resulting from implantation, and supply pre-implantation embryos with nutrients. Unlike in humans, the early conceptus of the European polecat (Mustela putorius; ferret) grows and develops free in the uterus until implanting at about 12 days after mating. We found that the proteins appearing in polecat uteri changed dramatically with time leading to implantation. Several of these proteins have also been found in pregnant uteri of other eutherian mammals. However, we found a combination of two increasingly abundant proteins that have not been recorded before in pre-placentation uteri. First, the broad-spectrum proteinase inhibitor α2-macroglobulin rose to dominate the protein profile by the time of implantation. Its functions may be to limit damage caused by the release of proteinases during implantation or infection, and to control other processes around sites of implantation. Second, lipocalin-1 (also known as tear lipocalin) also increased substantially in concentration. This protein has not previously been recorded as a uterine secretion in pregnancy in any species. If polecat lipocalin-1 has similar biological properties to that of humans, then it may have a combined function in antimicrobial protection and transporting or scavenging lipids. The changes in the uterine secretory protein repertoire of European polecats is therefore unusual, and may be representative of pre-placentation supportive uterine secretions in mustelids (otters, weasels, badgers, mink, wolverines) in general.
Holcomb, L. B.
The chemical and electric auxiliary propulsion technology of the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany is discussed in detail, and the propulsion technology achievements of Italy, India, Japan, and Russia are reviewed. A comparison is presented of Shell 405 catalyst and a European spontaneous hydrazine catalyst called CNESRO I. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding future trends in European auxiliary propulsion technology development.
Roels, Leo; Rahmel, Axel
This mini-review on European experiences with tackling the problem of organ shortage for transplantation was based on a literature review of predominantly European publications dealing with the issue of organ donation from deceased donors. The authors tried to identify the most significant factors that have demonstrated to impact on donation rates from deceased donors and subsequent transplant successes. These factors include legislative measures (national laws and European Directives), optimization of the donation process, use of expanded criteria donors, innovative preservation and surgical techniques, organizational efforts, and improved allocation algorithms.
Lindroos M.; Calaga R.; Bousson S.; Danared H.; Devanz G. et al
In 2003 the joint European effort to design a European Spallation Source (ESS) resulted in a set of reports, and in May 2009 Lund was agreed to be the ESS site. The ESS Scandinavia office has since then worked on setting all the necessary legal and organizational matters in place so that the Design Update and construction can be started in January 2011, in collaboration with European partners. The Design Update phase is expected to end in 2012, to be followed by a construction phase, with first neutrons expected in 2018-2019.
Ronda, C; Vázquez, M
A survey on the scientific journals dealing with microbiology published in Europe has been carried out. Eighteen European countries publish microbiological journals with the United Kingdom. Netherlands and Germany leading in number of journals on this specialty. Most of the European journals on microbiology are published bimonthly (27%), and English is the most common language used (54%). Most of these journals (86%) are included in some database, but only 36 (25%) are indexed in the six databases studied. Out of the 146 journals registered, 71 (49%), published in 11 European countries, are included in the 1995 Journal Citation Reports (ISI, Philadelphia).
Drewe, J A; Foote, A K; Sutcliffe, R L; Pearce, G P
Pathological lesions associated with Mycobacterium bovis infection (bovine tuberculosis; bTB) in free-living meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa are described. The pathology of bTB in meerkats was determined through detailed post-mortem examinations of 57 animals (52 meerkats showing clinical signs of bTB, and five not showing signs of disease). Lymph nodes and tissue lesions thought to be associated with bTB were cultured for mycobacteria. All 52 bTB-infected meerkats showed gross or microscopical granulomatous lesions, but M. bovis was cultured from only 42% (22/52) of these animals. The majority (96%, 50/52) of diseased meerkats had lesions in multiple sites, the pattern of which suggested haematogenous spread of M. bovis infection in this species. The histological characteristics of the tuberculous lesions, together with the gross pathology and the wide range of body systems affected, indicate that infection in meerkats is acquired principally via the respiratory and oral routes, whereas excretion is most likely via the respiratory tract and suppurating skin wounds. Urine and faeces appear to be unlikely sources of infection. The findings of this study provide information on the transmission, pathogenesis and epidemiology of bTB in meerkats that is likely to be relevant to the understanding of M. bovis infection in other social mammal species such as the European badger (Meles meles).
Márquez, F J; Millán, J; Rodríguez-Liébana, J J; García-Egea, I; Muniain, M A
A total of 559 fleas representing four species (Pulex irritans, Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenocephalides canis and Spilopsyllus cuniculi) collected on carnivores (five Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus, six European wildcat Felis silvestris, 10 common genet Genetta genetta, three Eurasian badger Meles meles, 22 red fox Vulpes vulpes, 87 dogs and 23 cats) in Andalusia, southern Spain, were distributed in 156 pools of monospecific flea from each carnivore, and tested for Bartonella infection in an assay based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the 16 S-23 S rRNA intergenic spacer region. Twenty-one samples (13.5%) were positive and the sequence data showed the presence of four different Bartonella species. Bartonella henselae was detected in nine pools of Ctenocephalides felis from cats and dogs and in three pools of Ctenocephalides canis from cats; Bartonella clarridgeiae in Ctenocephalides felis from a cat, and Bartonella alsatica in Spilopsyllus cuniculi from a wildcat. DNA of Bartonella sp., closely related to Bartonella rochalimae, was found in seven pools of Pulex irritans from foxes. This is the first detection of B. alsatica and Bartonella sp. in the Iberian Peninsula. All of these Bartonella species have been implicated as agents of human diseases. The present survey confirms that carnivores are major reservoirs for Bartonella spp.
Waring, Laura; McDonald, Robbie A.; Delahay, Richard; Young, Andrew
Senescence has been hypothesized to arise in part from age-related declines in immune performance, but the patterns and drivers of within-individual age-related changes in immunity remain virtually unexplored in natural populations. Here, using a long-term epidemiological study of wild European badgers (Meles meles), we (i) present evidence of a within-individual age-related decline in the response of a key immune-signalling cytokine, interferon-gamma (IFNγ), to ex vivo lymphocyte stimulation, and (ii) investigate three putative drivers of individual variation in the rate of this decline (sex, disease and immune cell telomere length; ICTL). That the within-individual rate of age-related decline markedly exceeded that at the population level suggests that individuals with weaker IFNγ responses are selectively lost from this population. IFNγ responses appeared to decrease with the progression of bovine tuberculosis infection (independent of age) and were weaker among males than females. However, neither sex nor disease influenced the rate of age-related decline in IFNγ response. Similarly, while ICTL also declines with age, variation in ICTL predicted neither among- nor within-individual variation in IFNγ response. Our findings provide evidence of within-individual age-related declines in immune performance in a wild mammal and highlight the likely complexity of the mechanisms that generate them. PMID:26888036
Beirne, Christopher; Waring, Laura; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard; Young, Andrew
Senescence has been hypothesized to arise in part from age-related declines in immune performance, but the patterns and drivers of within-individual age-related changes in immunity remain virtually unexplored in natural populations. Here, using a long-term epidemiological study of wild European badgers (Meles meles), we (i) present evidence of a within-individual age-related decline in the response of a key immune-signalling cytokine, interferon-gamma (IFNγ), to ex vivo lymphocyte stimulation, and (ii) investigate three putative drivers of individual variation in the rate of this decline (sex, disease and immune cell telomere length; ICTL). That the within-individual rate of age-related decline markedly exceeded that at the population level suggests that individuals with weaker IFNγ responses are selectively lost from this population. IFNγ responses appeared to decrease with the progression of bovine tuberculosis infection (independent of age) and were weaker among males than females. However, neither sex nor disease influenced the rate of age-related decline in IFNγ response. Similarly, while ICTL also declines with age, variation in ICTL predicted neither among- nor within-individual variation in IFNγ response. Our findings provide evidence of within-individual age-related declines in immune performance in a wild mammal and highlight the likely complexity of the mechanisms that generate them.
Palmer, M V
Mycobacterium bovis is the cause of tuberculosis in animals and sometimes humans. Many developed nations have long-standing programmes to eradicate tuberculosis in livestock, principally cattle. As disease prevalence in cattle decreases these efforts are sometimes impeded by passage of M. bovis from wildlife to cattle. In epidemiological terms, disease can persist in some wildlife species, creating disease reservoirs, if the basic reproduction rate (R0) and critical community size (CCS) thresholds are achieved. Recognized wildlife reservoir hosts of M. bovis include the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, European badger (Meles meles) in Great Britain and Ireland, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in South Africa, wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the Iberian Peninsula and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Michigan, USA. The epidemiological concepts of R0 and CCS are related to more tangible disease/pathogen characteristics such as prevalence, pathogen-induced pathology, host behaviour and ecology. An understanding of both epidemiological and disease/pathogen characteristics is necessary to identify wildlife reservoirs of M. bovis. In some cases, there is a single wildlife reservoir host involved in transmission of M. bovis to cattle. Complexity increases, however, in multihost systems where multiple potential reservoir hosts exist. Bovine tuberculosis eradication efforts require elimination of M. bovis transmission between wildlife reservoirs and cattle. For successful eradication identification of true wildlife reservoirs is critical, as disease control efforts are most effective when directed towards true reservoirs.
Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Budis, Halina; Podlasinska, Joanna; Popiolek, Marcin; Pirog, Agnieszka; Jedrzejewska, Ewa
Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are involved in mammalian brain damage. However, little is known about Pb and Cd brain levels in wildlife that reflect the geochemical background. The aims of the study include the estimation of Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations, and the determination of relationships between these elements in the brains of 94 mesocarnivores. Road-killed or hunted animals were obtained from north-western Poland near the Polish-German border. The investigation covered the native Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, badger Meles meles, pine marten Martes martes, beech marten M. foina, European polecat Mustela putorius, red fox Vulpes vulpes, and alien species: feral and ranch American mink Neovison vison, raccoon Procyon lotor and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. Depending on the diet and environmental pollution, the carnivore brains accumulated toxic metals in varying amounts. The highest median Hg levels (in mg/kg dry weight, dw) were found in the piscivorous Eurasian otter and feral mink (2.44 and 3.96), Pb in the omnivorous raccoon (0.47), while Cd in minks (~0.06). We indicated that Pb-based ammunition is a significant source of the element in scavengers from hunting area, and we also found a significant correlation between Pb and Cd levels in the fox brain. Finally, this study is the first to suggest background levels for brain Pb and Cd in mesocarnivores (<0.50 and <0.04 mg/kg dw, respectively).
Penezić, Aleksandra; Selaković, Sanja; Pavlović, Ivan; Ćirović, Duško
Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the presence of adult heartworms. During the period 2009-2013, the prevalence in golden jackals (Canis aureus) was 7.32%, in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) 1.55%, in wolves (Canis lupus) 1.43%, and in wild cats (Felis silvestris) 7.69%. No adult heartworm specimens were found in beech martens (Martes foina), stone martens (Martes martes), European polecats (Mustela putorius), badgers (Meles meles) or otter (Lutra lutra). The highest recorded prevalence was in 2013 (7.30%) and the lowest in 2012 (1.6%). In jackals, the prevalence was higher in males (10%) than in females (4.06%), while in foxes the prevalence was 1.75% in males and 1.26% in females. The most infected host was a wolf in which 37 adult specimens were found. Because of the potentially significant role in the life cycle of D. immitis, populations of wild carnivores in Europe should be further examined and tested for heartworm infections.
Millán, Javier; Sobrino, Raquel; Rodríguez, Alejandro; Oleaga, Alvaro; Gortazar, Christian; Schares, Gereon
The disease bovine besnoitiosis is responsible for severe economic losses caused by the protozoan Besnoitia besnoiti. The identity of the definitive host (DH) of this parasite has yet to be determined, although it is presumed to be a carnivore. With the aim of advancing in the identification of B. besnoiti DH, a necessary step in implementing control strategies, the contact rate of 205 free-roaming carnivores with this parasite in Spain was studied. The study included 16 wolves (Canis lupus), 41 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 21 pine martens (Martes martes), eight stone martens (M. foina), 12 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), 18 common genets (Genetta genetta), five Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), 28 European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris), 43 feral cats (Felis silvestris catus), and 13 other animals belonging to five other species. Serum samples were analysed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and by two western immunoblots (WB, one with tachyzoite and the other with bradyzoite antigen). Twelve individuals (eight of which were cats) seroconverted by one or other of these techniques but no individual showed seroconversion by IFAT and one of the WBs. The results provided no evidence to support the idea that within the geographical regions covered by the analysis wild carnivores are implicated in the transmission of B. besnoiti in Spain.
Santoro, Mario; Veneziano, Vincenzo; D'Alessio, Nicola; Di Prisco, Francesca; Lucibelli, Maria Gabriella; Borriello, Giorgia; Cerrone, Anna; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Otranto, Domenico; Galiero, Giorgio
Ehrlichiosis and Q fever caused by the intracellular bacteria Ehrlichia canis and Coxiella burnetii, respectively, are tick-borne diseases with zoonotic potential and widespread geographical distribution. This study investigated the prevalence of both infections in wild mammals in southern Italy. Tissue samples obtained from the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), gray wolf (Canis lupus), beech marten (Martes foina), and crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) were processed for molecular detection of both pathogens. E. canis was detected in 55 out of 105 (52 %) red foxes and three out of six gray wolves. Four sequence types were identified, three of which were found in the spleen and liver samples of red foxes and wolves, and one in the kidney of a red fox. None of the examined mammals was positive to C. burnetii type. This represents the first report of E. canis in free-ranging wolves worldwide, as well as the first evidence of this pathogen in red foxes in the peninsular Italy. Our results suggest that E. canis infection is common in free-ranging canids in southern Italy and that a sylvatic life cycle of this pathogen may occur.
Matos, Ana Cristina; Figueira, Luis; Martins, Maria Helena; Loureiro, Filipa; Pinto, Maria Lurdes; Matos, Manuela; Coelho, Ana Cláudia
A survey to determine the occurrence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in wild carnivores in Portugal was conducted by testing samples from road-killed animals between 2009 and 2012. Postmortem examinations were performed and tissues were collected from wild carnivores representing four families and six different species, with a total of 74 animals analyzed. Cultures were performed by using Löwenstein-Jensen and Middlebrook 7H11 solid media and acid-fast isolates were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and mycobactin dependency characteristics. Tissues were also screened for MAP by directly extracting DNA and testing for the MAP-specific sequences. The occurrence of infected animals (an animal had at least one tissue that was positive for culture or direct PCR) was 27.0% (n = 20). MAP was isolated from culture of 25 tissue samples (3.8%) and was detected by direct PCR in 40 (6.0%) samples. Infection was recorded in 5/6 studied species: 7/49 (14.3%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 3/3 (100%) beech martens (Martes foina), 2/4 (50.0%) Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra), 7/15 (46.7%) Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), and 1/1 (100%) European badger (Meles meles). These species represent three different taxonomic families: Canidae (14.3% were positive), Mustelidae (75.0% were positive), and Herpestidae (46.7% were positive). The results of this study confirm the presence of MAP infection in wild carnivores in Portugal.
Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Budis, Halina; Podlasinska, Joanna; Popiolek, Marcin; Pirog, Agnieszka; Jedrzejewska, Ewa
Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are involved in mammalian brain damage. However, little is known about Pb and Cd brain levels in wildlife that reflect the geochemical background. The aims of the study include the estimation of Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations, and the determination of relationships between these elements in the brains of 94 mesocarnivores. Road-killed or hunted animals were obtained from north-western Poland near the Polish-German border. The investigation covered the native Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, badger Meles meles, pine marten Martes martes, beech marten M. foina, European polecat Mustela putorius, red fox Vulpes vulpes, and alien species: feral and ranch American mink Neovison vison, raccoon Procyon lotor and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. Depending on the diet and environmental pollution, the carnivore brains accumulated toxic metals in varying amounts. The highest median Hg levels (in mg/kg dry weight, dw) were found in the piscivorous Eurasian otter and feral mink (2.44 and 3.96), Pb in the omnivorous raccoon (0.47), while Cd in minks (~0.06). We indicated that Pb-based ammunition is a significant source of the element in scavengers from hunting area, and we also found a significant correlation between Pb and Cd levels in the fox brain. Finally, this study is the first to suggest background levels for brain Pb and Cd in mesocarnivores (<0.50 and <0.04 mg/kg dw, respectively). PMID:27513467
Cordara, Franco; Grimaldi, Sabrina; Leschiutta, Sigfrido
Time and frequency metrology in Europe presents some peculiar features in its three main components: research on clocks, comparisons and dissemination methods, and dissemination services. Apart from the usual activities of the national metrological laboratories, an increasing number of cooperation between the European countries are promoted inside some European organizations, such as the ECC, EFTA, EUROMET, and WECC. Cooperation between these organizations is covered. The present, evolving situation will be further influenced by the recent political changes in Eastern Europe.
Tschepe, Christoph; Sauerbrey, Martin; Klebor, Maximillian; Henriksen, Torben
A European CFRP honeycomb material for high demanding structure applications like antenna reflectors and optical benches was developed in the frame of an ESA GSTP project.The composite honeycomb was designed according to requirements defined by the European space industry. A developed manufacturing technique based on prepreg moulding enables the production of homogeneous CFRP honeycomb blocks. All characteristic material properties, including compression, tension and shear strength and CTE, were determined in a comprehensive verification test campaign. Competitiveness to comparable products was further verified by a representative breadboard.
A French authority on security argues for new European initiatives in the face of the ''danger represented by Soviet military power deployed in support of an imperialistic ideology.'' His proposals, including the strengthening of conventional forces without abandoning the option of the first use of nuclear weapons, are meant to give substance to President Mitterrand's declaration in 1983: ''The European nations now need to realize that their defense is also their responsibility....'' A part of the increasingly important debate in France over defense policy in Europe.
The goals during this period included the following objectives from the Statement of Work: in Phase 2A, completion of Subtask 2.1.4 -- Interpret data, of Task 2.1 -- Acquire 3-D seismic data; and, in Phase 2B, completion of Subtask 2.2.1 -- Solicit bids and award, and initiation of Subtask 2.2.2 -- Acquire cores, of Task 2.2 -- Drill slant hole. Subtask 2.1.4 -- Interpret data: Interpretation of the 3- D seismic survey was completed on a Sun Sparcstation10 workstation (UNIX based), using Landmark Graphics latest version of Seisworks 3D software. Subtask 2.2.2 -- Acquire cores: Sierra had picked a location and prepared a drilling plan for the slant/horizontal wellbores. Sierra was ready to submit an Application for Permit to Drill. However, due to the fact that Sierra entered into an agreement to sell the Badger Basin property, the drilling phase was put on hold.
Tobe, Shanan S; Linacre, Adrian M T
A novel species-specific multiplex to identify 18 common European mammalian species (badger, cat, cow, dog, donkey, fox, goat, guinea pig, harvest mouse, hedgehog, horse, house mouse, human, pig, rabbit, rat, red deer and sheep), many of which are often associated with forensic investigations, has been developed. The assay is based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which is commonly used in species identification and phylogeny studies. Areas of homology and variation were identified and were used to create universal and species-specific primers. The species-specific primers were designed such that they will only react with the species for which they were designed. Two primer sets were designed for each species making the test self-confirmatory. All primer sets produced the expected results. The multiplex was balanced at template concentration of 40 000 copies (approximately 1.36 pg). Validation was accomplished by analysing the same sample ten times to determine run variation and several samples for each species to determine between-sample variation. Twenty-eight additional mammalian species were reacted with the multiplex. The multiplex provides, for the first time, a definitive method for identification of species in a forensic context.
Leppert, Ella C.; Halac, Dennis
The instructional materials in this teaching guide for Course II, Unit IV, follow and build upon a previous sequential course described in SO 003 169 offering ninth grade students a study on the development of Western European Civilization. Focus is upon four periods of high development: The High Middle Ages (12th Century), The Renaissance (15th…
Schilizzi, R. T.
The capabilities of the European very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) network are summarized. The range of baseline parameters, sensitivities, and recording and other equipment available are included. Plans for upgrading the recording facilities and the use of geostationary satellites for signal transfer and clock synchronization are discussed.
Mitchell, Vicki L.; Mitchell, Kenneth E.
Guidelines are presented for planning and financing European study tours at the community college level. First, a rationale for incorporating study tours of Europe within the community college curriculum is presented and the benefits of such tours in providing students with experiences they could not normally have are outlined. Next, the paper…
Alexanderson, Thomas; And Others
Articles concerning music are included in this newsletter dedicated to cultural venture to be jointly carried out by the Council of Europe and the European communities. Many events will mark Music Year 1985, including concerts, dance performances, operas, publications, recordings, festivals, exhibitions, competitions, and conferences on musical…
This state-of-the-art article includes a review of past and recent studies on multilingualism at work in European environments. One aim is to provide the reader with a cross-cultural picture of workplace studies on various languages in Europe, another to discuss both positive and problem-based accounts of multilingualism at work. The overview…
The political, cultural and social make-up of Europe is changing fast. A new European identity is under construction, but old contradictions and diversity challenge its contents, forms and boundaries. Migration, the changing role of the nation-state and Europe's regions, the reshaping of politico-administrative and perceptional boundaries, the…
Jongejans, A.; Rogard, R.; Mistretta, I.; Ananasso, F.
The European Space Agency is presently procuring an L band payload in order to promote a regional European L band system coping with the specific needs of the European market. The payload, and the two communications systems to be supported, are described below. The potential market for EMS in Europe is discussed.
Corredoira, Elena; Valladares, Silvia; Vieitez, Ana M; Ballester, Antonio
Development of a system for direct transfer of antifungal candidate genes into European chestnut (Castanea sativa) would provide an alternative approach to conventional breeding for production of chestnut trees that are tolerant to ink disease caused by Phytophthora spp. Overexpression of genes encoding PR proteins (such as thaumatin-like proteins), which display antifungal activity, may represent an important advance in control of the disease. We have used a chestnut thaumatin-like protein gene (CsTL1) isolated from European chestnut cotyledons and have achieved overexpression of the gene in chestnut somatic embryogenic lines used as target material. We have also acclimatized the transgenic plants and grown them on in the greenhouse. Here, we describe the various steps of the process, from the induction of somatic embryogenesis to the production of transgenic plants.
The main purpose of this article is to discuss the implications for education and training of the movement towards integration in Europe in the historic context of the creation of a single market within the European Community (EC) and the end of the Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. The experience of the EC is used to illustrate trends and problems in the development of international cooperation in education and training. Common concerns and priorities throughout the new Europe are then identified and discussed. These include the pursuit of quality in schooling, efforts to serve the interests of disadvantaged learners, and the treatment of European Studies in the curriculum, including the improvement of the teaching of foreign languages.
Peggs, S; Eshraqi, M; Hahn, H; Jansson, A; Lindroos, M; Ponton, A; Rathsman, K; Trahern, G; Bousso, S; Calaga, R; Devanz, G; Duperrier, R D; Eguia, J; Gammino, S; Moller, S P; Oyon, C; Ruber, R.J.M.Y.; Satogata, T
The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a 5 MW, 2.5 GeV long pulse proton linac, to be built and commissioned in Lund, Sweden. The Accelerator Design Update (ADU) project phase is under way, to be completed at the end of 2012 by the delivery of a Technical Design Report. Improvements to the 2003 ESS design will be summarised, and the latest design activities will be presented.
Benetka, V; Leschnik, M; Affenzeller, N; Möstl, K
Austrian field cases of canine distemper (14 dogs, one badger [Meles meles] and one stone marten [Martes foina]) from 2002 to 2007 were investigated and the case histories were summarised briefly. Phylogenetic analysis of fusion (F) and haemagglutinin (H) gene sequences revealed different canine distemper virus (CDV) lineages circulating in Austria. The majority of CDV strains detected from 2002 to 2004 were well embedded in the European lineage. One Austrian canine sample detected in 2003, with a high similarity to Hungarian sequences from 2005 to 2006, could be assigned to the Arctic group (phocine distemper virus type 2-like). The two canine sequences from 2007 formed a clearly distinct group flanked by sequences detected previously in China and the USA on an intermediate position between the European wildlife and the Asia-1 cluster. The Austrian wildlife strains (2006 and 2007) could be assigned to the European wildlife group and were most closely related to, yet clearly different from, the 2007 canine samples. To elucidate the epidemiological role of Austrian wildlife in the transmission of the disease to dogs and vice versa, H protein residues related to receptor and host specificity (residues 530 and 549) were analysed. All samples showed the amino acids expected for their host of origin, with the exception of a canine sequence from 2007, which had an intermediate position between wildlife and canine viral strains. In the period investigated, canine strains circulating in Austria could be assigned to four different lineages reflecting both a high diversity and probably different origins of virus introduction to Austria in different years.
Robin, Thierry; Cochard, Jacques; Breussin, Frédéric
The objective of the present work is to determine the opportunities and challenges for Biophotonics business development in Europe for the next five years with a focus on sensors and systems: for health diagnostics and monitoring; for air, water and food safety and quality control. The development of this roadmap was initiated and supported by EPIC (The European Photonics Industry Consortium). We summarize the final roadmap data: market application segments and trends, analysis of the market access criteria, analysis of the technology trends and major bottlenecks and challenges per application.
Honey, J.A. )
Here the authors assess Eastern European risk management practices through the evaluation of the nuclear power plants in the region. This evaluation is limited to the Soviet-designed and -built VVER-440 pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that are currently operating in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia, and the Ukraine and until recently operated at Greifswald in the former East Germany. This evaluation is based on the basic design of the plants, a safety evaluation of the Greifswald facility by representatives from the Federal Republic of Germany and personal visits by the author to Greifswald and Loviisa.
Defense, European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified During the last several decades the European Union has not paid much...obvious European defense shortcomings. Then, after the Cologne European Council of June 1999, the European Union launched the European Security and...considerably and the military capabilities of the European Union have been strengthened with initiatives such as the battlegroup concept and the development of
Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium).
Despite their highly divergent situations, young people largely share the same values, ambitions, and difficulties. Despite the more complex social and economic context in which young Europeans are currently living, they are well equipped to adapt. National and European policymakers must facilitate this process of change by making young people…
Ziegler, Peter A.
The European Cenozoic rift system extends from the coast of the North Sea to the Mediterranean over a distance of some 1100 km; it finds its southern prolongation in the Valencia Trough and a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic chain crossing the Atlas ranges. Development of this mega-rift was paralleled by orogenic activity in the Alps and Pyrenees. Major rift domes, accompanied by subsidence reversal of their axial grabens, developed 20-40 Ma after beginning of rifting. Uplift of the Rhenish Shield is related to progressive thermal lithospheric thinning; the Vosges-Black Forest and the Massif Central domes are probably underlain by asthenoliths emplaced at the crust/mantle boundary. Evolution of this rift system, is thought to be governed by the interaction of the Eurasian and African plates and by early phases of a plate-boundary reorganization that may lead to the break-up of the present continent assembly.
In a situation where curricula did not adjust at the required pace and many students are getting attracted out of science and technology, the shortage of skilled workers at the technician and engineer level is known to be a threat to development. In spite of a serious crisis in 2001, the trend of an increased presence of optical technologies remains unchanged and is bound to remain part of the landscape for decades. The level of investment required and the markets make Europe the best scale to plan for unified curricula and a global analysis of the human resources needs. There is no agreement on the definition of a trained optician, and European countries differ in the way they educate opticians, source of a lack of clarity and visibility which is detrimental to attracting good students and to the job market. Through its closely work with companies, OPTRANET will propose measures to enhance the adequacy and the visibility of the training offer.
Silova, Iveta; Brehm, William C.
The construction of the European education space has typically been attributed to European education policy makers, institutions, and networks. Rarely do scholars consider the role of outside, non-European actors in shaping the terrain of European education thought and practice. This article considers the construction of the European education…
Scimeca, Santi; Dumitru, Petru; Durando, Marc; Gilleran, Anne; Joyce, Alexa; Vuorikari, Riina
School networking is increasingly important in a globalised world, where schools themselves can be actors on an international stage. This article builds on the activities and experience of the longest established European initiative in this area, European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 Ministries of Education. First, we offer an introduction…
Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France). Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport, Documentation Section.
This paper addresses concerns about a European dimension in education that has been created by the enlargement of the European Union (EU) (the inclusion of Austria, Finland, and Sweden) and the gradual transformations of institutions into a future federal state. Sections of the paper include: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Defining the…
Stephens, Thomas M.
Delineates the incorporation and analyzes the impact of European borrowings in Brazilian racio-ethnic terminology. This overview covers French, Italian, Spanish, and English influences. Borrowings from European languages have had a small impact on the calculus of Brazilian racio-ethnic terms. (43 references) (Author/CK)
Kurita, Eiichi; Matsuura, Hiroatsu; Ohno, Keiichi
Geometries and harmonic vibrational wave numbers were calculated on a series of simple compounds that contain the atoms of elements in the groups 14-17 by density functional theory at the B3LYP/6-311++G(3df,2pd) level. The calculated wave numbers agree well with the observed harmonic wave numbers with substantially the same accuracy for the compounds of the different groups. The stretching force constants of the CX (X = C, Si, Ge, N, P, As, O, S, Se, F, Cl and Br) single and multiple bonds were obtained. The CX stretching force constants increase with a decrease of the bond lengths as the element X in the same period goes from left to right in the periodic table. The individual intrinsic properties of the CX bonds are lost gradually with increasing the period of the element X. The unified interpretation of Badger's rule has enabled the formulation of a common equation for universal use f = 2.8 R(-3) to relate the force constants f (10(2) N m(-1)) and the reduced bond lengths R (10(-10) m).
Isaac Newton, among others, observed that 'we see so far because we are standing upon the shoulders of giants'. In vascular surgery most of the giants have been European, and this is a heritage which we as Europeans can take pride in and build upon if we chose to do so. As in other areas of life, commitment is essential in order to influence the future. For vascular surgeons in Europe this means active participation in the European scientific societies for vascular surgery and in the UEMS. The main value of the EBSQ.VASC assessments to date has been to expose the uneven standards of training in vascular surgery within the European Union. Only if action follows to address these inequalities will the tactics of the European Board of Vascular Surgery be vindicated.
Demotes-Mainard, J; Kubiak, C
Evaluating research outcomes requires multinational cooperation in clinical research for optimization of treatment strategies and comparative effectiveness research, leading to evidence-based practice and healthcare cost containment. The European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) is a distributed ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap pan-European infrastructure designed to support multinational clinical research, making Europe a single area for clinical studies, taking advantage of its population size to access patients, and unlocking latent scientific potential. Servicing multinational trials started during its preparatory phase, and ECRIN will now apply for an ERIC (European Research Infrastructures Consortium) status by 2011. By creating a single area for clinical research in Europe, this achievement will contribute to the implementation of the Europe flagship initiative 2020 'Innovation Union', whose objectives include defragmentation of the research and education capacity, tackling the major societal challenges starting with the area of healthy ageing, and removing barriers to bring ideas to the market.
Korja, Annakaisa; Heikkinen, Pekka J.; Roslov, Yuri; Ivanova, Nina; Verba, Marc; Sakoulina, Tamara
A nearly continuous, 3600 km long, NE-running North European Transect (NET) is combined from the existing deep seismic reflection data sets in the Baltic Sea (BABEL, 1600 km), Northern Finland (FIRE 4-4A, 580 km) and Barents Sea (1-AR, 1440 km;). The reflective image of the deep crust is highly dependent on the thickness of the sedimentary cover. The cover is few hundred meters in the Baltic sea, few tens of meters in the land areas and few kilometers in the Barents Sea area. In the Barents Sea area, the seismic image is dominated by the layered structure of the sedimentary basins and the middle and lower crust are poorly imaged. Therefore the Moho boundary in the Barents Sea has been determined from wide-angle reflections. Geologically the transect covers the transition from Phanerozoic Europe to Precambrian Europe and back to the Phanerozoic Barents Sea Shelf. It displays how Northern Europe grew around Baltica in several tectonic episodes involving the formation and destruction of Columbia/Hudsonland, Rodinia and Pangea supercontinents. The paleo plateboundaries are traversed by subvertical transparent zones suggesting transpressional and trantensional environments. The BABEL lines image how the core of Baltica was formed by sequential accretion of microcontinents and arc terranes at the old continental margin during the Svecofennian Orogeny ~1.9-1.8 Ga .When Baltica joined the Columbia supercontinent, new terranes were added to its southern edge in the Sveocbaltic Orogeny (~1.8 Ga). During the dispersal of the Columbia, the Baltic Sea failed rift was formed, rapakivi granitoids were intruded and sedimentary basins were developed. An extended plate margin structure has been imposed on the Rodinian (Sveconorwegian) and Pangean additions (Variscan-Caledonian). Major crustal thinning takes place along a series of subvertical faults across the Trans-European Suture Zone marking the transition from Phanerozoic to Proterozoic Europe. The FIRE lines in Northen Finland
Brzeziński, Marcin; Rodak, Lukasz; Zalewski, Andrzej
Camera traps deployed at a badger Meles meles set in mixed pine forest in north-eastern Poland recorded interspecific killing of red fox Vulpes vulpes cubs by pine marten Martes martes. The vixen and her cubs settled in the set at the beginning of May 2013, and it was abandoned by the badgers shortly afterwards. Five fox cubs were recorded playing in front of the den each night. Ten days after the first recording of the foxes, a pine marten was filmed at the set; it arrived in the morning, made a reconnaissance and returned at night when the vixen was away from the set. The pine marten entered the den several times and killed at least two fox cubs. It was active at the set for about 2 h. This observation proves that red foxes are not completely safe from predation by smaller carnivores, even those considered to be subordinate species in interspecific competition.
Sobrino, R; Dubey, J P; Pabón, M; Linarez, N; Kwok, O C; Millán, J; Arnal, M C; Luco, D F; López-Gatius, F; Thulliez, P; Gortázar, C; Almería, S
Serum samples from 251 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by the commercial competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and confirmed by Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and/or by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Samples with antibodies detected by at least two serological tests were considered seropositive. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 3.2% of 95 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes); in 21.4% of 28 wolves (Canis lupus); in 12.0% of 25 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus); in 16.7% of 6 European wildcats (Felis silvestris); in 6.4% of 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles); in 21.4% of 14 stone martens (Martes foina); in 66.7% of 3 pine martens (M. martes) and in 50% of 2 polecats (Mustela putorius). Antibodies to N. caninum in common genets (Genetta genetta) and Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon) were only observed by c-ELISA but were not confirmed by IFAT and/or NAT. No antibodies were detected in 5 Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) by any technique. Statistically significant differences were observed among species and among geographical areas. The highest seroprevalence of N. caninum infection was observed in the Cantabric Coastal region characterized by high humidity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of antibodies to N. caninum in free ranging wild carnivores, other than wild canids, in Europe. The existence of a possible sylvatic cycle could have important implications in both sylvatic and domestic cycles since they might influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in those areas.
Mulley, Graham P
There are two major European Courts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECJ deals with legal matters, mainly involving the interpretation of EU law and ensuring that the law is applied evenly across all 27 EU member states. The ECHR aims to make certain that civil and political rights of citizens in the 46 member states of the Council of Europe are observed. Most cases involving older citizens are about social policy (such as pension arrangements, equality, age discrimination and mandatory retirement). There have been few cases dealing with patients' rights, long-term care or housing. Referrals of selected cases involving old people should be considered if their rights are not being protected. In this Commentary, there is an account of how these Courts have evolved, together with guidance on whom to refer, to which Court, and when and how referrals should be made.
The growing European Union faces growing problems in personal communication. These problems cannot be overcome only by more language courses in school. As important is a better mutual knowledge of the culture of other countries, a knowledge that can be gained only by a personal, professional stay in foreign countries. On university level, such stays are best organized by networks connecting European universities. In the broad field of measurement, this IMEKO symposium might offer a unique forum to thoroughly discuss structure and realization of such a network with all interested colleagues.
Hermans, W A
Until a couple of decades ago, the European mouflon found on the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Cyprus was considered an independent wild species and last representative of the European wild sheep. However, recent research has shown that there have not been wild sheep in Europe since the late Pleistocene. Archeological investigation in Corsica has shown that the mouflon is not a wild sheep but a primitive domestic sheep brought to the islands by farmers from the Near East and which then became wild (feral).
Recent enlargement of the European Union (EU) has created debate as to the suitability of current structures and policies for effectively engaging citizens and developing social cohesion. Education and specifically modern foreign language (MFL) teaching are argued by the literature to play a key role in equipping young people to interact and…
European education governance is increasingly affected by and effectuated through digital means. This article presents an analysis of the way in which Europe is increasingly deploying digital technologies, and more specifically websites, in order to shape and communicate its education policies. Drawing on the notion of the diagram as the…
Ferri, Rita Borromeo
Teaching and learning of mathematical modelling has become a key competence within school curricula and educational standards in many countries of the world. The term mathematical modelling, its meaning, and how it can be implemented in mathematics lessons have been intensively discussed during several Conferences of the European Society for…
Byrd, Andrew Miles
The chief concern of this dissertation is to investigate a fundamental, yet unsolved problem within the phonology of Proto-Indo-European (PIE): the process of syllabification. I show that by analyzing the much more easily reconstructable word-edge clusters we may predict which types of consonant clusters can occur word-medially, provided that we…
Ageing International, 1993
Two Commission of European Communities surveys of people over age 15 and of those over 60 demonstrated a widespread belief that older people deserve public support and services and face employment discrimination. Socioeconomic factors influenced older people's sense of security and life satisfaction. Positive intergenerational attitudes appeared.…
Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France). Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport, Documentation Section.
This document is a folder full of brochures describing the activities of Council of Europe and the European Union to celebrate 2001 as a year of languages in order to celebrate the linguistic diversity of Europe and promote the many opportunities available for lifelong language learning. A number of facts and figures about the languages of Europe…
Egan, Jordon; Takacs, Daniella
Every year, students from European vet schools can apply for $5000 scholarships, which aim to 'enhance the academic experience of students'. Among last year's recipients were Jordon Egan, from the Royal Veterinary College, and Daniella Takács, from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest.
Catto, James W F; Montorsi, Francesco; Schulman, Claude
European Urology provides contemporary, cutting-edge urologic research, guidance, and discussion. The journal continues to invite collaborative reviews, to invest in rapid but fair peer review, to seek the best research, and to serve the needs of readers and patients.
This article draws on European approaches to differentiation that do not entail fatalistic determinism. It describes two challenging initiatives in Denmark, where democratic learning and learning for democracy are enshrined in law. Other examples come from Germany, from the Bielefeld laboratory school and a sixth form college, where planning for…
With a view to international coordination of spacecraft materials, a number of European firms and institutes performed outgassing tests on identical materials at 125 C in high vacuum. The outgassing data obtained with the different types of equipment is presented and both the results and the critical parameters are discussed.
Pauknerova, E.; Sidlichovsky, P.; Urbanas, S.; Med, M.
The European Location Framework (ELF) means a technical infrastructure which will deliver authoritative, interoperable geospatial reference data from all over Europe for analysing and understanding information connected to places and features. The ELF has been developed and set up through the ELF Project, which has been realized by a consortium of partners (public, private and academic organisations) since March 2013. Their number increased from thirty to forty in the year 2016, together with a project extension from 36 to 44 months. The project is co-funded by the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and will end in October 2016. In broad terms, the ELF Project will deliver a unique gateway to the authoritative reference geospatial information for Europe (harmonised pan-European maps, geographic and land information) sourced from the National Mapping and Cadastral Authorities (NMCAs) around Europe and including transparent licensing. This will be provided as an online ELF web service that will deliver an up-to-date topographic base map and also as view & download services for access to the ELF datasets. To develop and build up the ELF, NMCAs are accompanied and collaborate with several research & academia institutes, a standardisation body, system integrators, software developers and application providers. The harmonisation is in progress developing and triggering a number of geo-tools like edge-matching, generalisation, transformation and others. ELF will provide also some centralised tools like Geo Locator for searching location based on geographical names, addresses and administrative units, and GeoProduct Finder for discovering the available web-services and licensing them. ELF combines national reference geo-information through the ELF platform. ELF web services will be offered to users and application developers through open source (OSKARI) and proprietary (ArcGIS Online) cloud platforms. Recently, 29 NMCAs plus the
The UK physicist John Womersley is to become the next director-general of the €1.8bn European Spallation Source (ESS), which is currently being built in Lund, Sweden, by a 17-member consortium of European countries.
Physics-based industries contributed around 14%, or €3800bn, to the total value of the European economy in 2010 - exceeding that of the construction and retail sectors combined - according to a report by the European Physical Society (EPS).
Medical device manufacturers operating under European quality system requirements are sometimes surprised to learn that their supplier control procedures do not fully meet United States (US) requirements. This article discusses important differences between US and European requirements for controlling suppliers.
The European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana, at 12:34 a.m. EDT Friday, beginning a si...
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was set up in 2005 to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases. The centre is an independent agency of the European Union and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
This article outlines a personal reflection of experiences within the field of traumatic stress, especially in relation to specific events, which affected the author's professional life. Conclusions for further challenges for European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) are delineated. ESTSS's role in the global network of traumatic stress societies is discussed. This is a personal view of Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, president of ESTSS on behalf of the 20th birthday of ESTSS. PMID:23755321
Creanor, Linda; Walker, Steve
Describes transnational distance learning activities among European trade union educators carried out as part of the European Trade Union Distance Education (ETUDE) project, supported by the European Commission. Highlights include the context of international trade union distance education; tutor training course; tutors' experiences; and…
Lawn, Martin; Grek, Sotiria
The study of common and diverse effects in the field of education across Europe is a growing field of inquiry and research. It is the result of many actions, networks and programmes over the last few decades and the development of common European education policies. "Europeanizing Education" describes the origins of European education…
van Rijsselt, Rene J. T.; Parkatti, Terttu; Troisi, Joseph
This paper describes three innovative European initiatives in postgraduate education in gerontology. The first is the European Masters Program in Gerontology (EuMaG), developed as an interdisciplinary joint program, supported and delivered by 22 European universities. Second, the Nordplus initiative to increase mobility of students and staff in…
Magalhães, António; Veiga, Amélia; Sousa, Sofia; Ribeiro, Filipa
This article focuses on the interaction between the European dimension driven by the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the development of national reforms to fulfil that objective. On the basis of data gathered in eight countries involved in EuroHESC project TRUE (Transforming European Universities), the curricular and the…
Banjac, Marinko; Pušnik, Tomaž
Citizenship education has been an important part of the European Union's (EU) agenda to integrate a European dimension into schools' curricula. The usage of European symbolism in citizenship education curriculum material has been an especially important (yet understudied) means not only to promote a distinct European identity and increase…
The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a project for a 4 meter-class ground-based telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands. The project is promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), a consortium formed by research organizations from 15 European countries. EST will be optimized for studies of magnetic coupling between the deep photosphere and upper chromosphere. The project has been approved for funds by the European Union, within the FP-7 framework, to produce the design of all systems and subsystems of the telescope during the next three years. This includes the optical and optomechanical design of the telescope itself and of the instruments and their control. MCAO will be included in the optical path in a natural way to compensate for atmospheric disturbances in an optimum way. The design of EST will strongly emphasize the use of a large number of visible and near-infrared instruments simultaneously which will influence the telescope design from the very beginning. This communication will center mainly on the scientific objectives that EST will address. Generally speaking, they involve understanding how the magnetic field emerges through the solar surface, interacts with the plasma dynamics to transfer energy between different regions, and finally releases it in the form of heat or as violent events in the solar chromosphere and corona. Among the many topics of interest, one may cite, as described in the EST Science Requirements Document: small-scale flux emergence in quiet sun regions, large-scale magnetic structures, magnetic flux cancellation processes, polar magnetic fields, magnetic topology of the photosphere and chromosphere, conversion of mechanical to magnetic energy in the photosphere, wave propagation from photosphere to chromosphere, energy dissipation in the chromosphere at small and large scales, etc. The present status and future perspectives of the project will also be outlined.
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The First European General Assembly of the "International Heliophysical Year" (IHY) took place at the headquarters of the Centre Nationial de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France, 10-13 January 2006. There were 113 participants representing 27 nations. The science concerned with the International Heliophysical Year programme was first illustrated. Then, the status of current instruments as well as practical information on the campaign management policy was given. Twenty European National Coordinators described the progress of their IHY activities. Representatives from Egypt, Angola and the coordinator of the Balkan, Black and Caspian Sea Region also reported on the progress of IHY activities in their respective regions. People from the IHY Secretariat provided a summary of the global IHY efforts including the United Nations Basic Space Sciences Program. In the education and public outreach front, a variety of activities have been planned: TV and radio shows, board games on space weather, specific programmes for schools and universities, workshops for teachers are some of the actions that were presented by the delegates. Beyond of these national and individual initiatives, specific activities requiring European coordination were discussed. This paper provides an extended summary of the main talks and discussions that held during the meeting.
Citerio, Giuseppe; Murphy, Paul G
Some of the seminal steps toward the recognition and definition of brain death were European. There is a general consensus on both the medical concept of brain death in Europe as well as the minimum fundamental clinical standards that are required for its diagnosis-the absence of consciousness, brainstem reflexes, and the ability to breathe in the absence of reversible or confounding conditions. Two aspects of brain death determination are addressed in this article. The authors analyze how brain death is diagnosed across Europe, identifying both the similarities and differences that exist between countries (the latter mainly concerning ancillary tests, timing, and the number of physicians involved in the brain death determination). In addition, they describe the very considerable variations in when brain death determinations are made between and within individual European countries, and propose that they are due to differences in the end-of-life care practices in patients with irreversible brain injuries, medical attitudes, and organ donation practices. Although legislation is available to standardize the brain death diagnosis process in most individual European countries, there are still disparities across Europe as a whole. The current variation in practice makes a continental consensus for the definition of brain death imperative.
Bilandžić, Nina; Dežđek, Danko; Sedak, Marija; Dokić, Maja; Simić, Branimir; Rudan, Nevenka; Brstilo, Mate; Lisicin, Tea
The differences in metal exposure (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Hg) in the muscle, liver and kidney tissues of brown bears (Ursus arctos), grey wolfs (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynxs (Lynx lynx), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and pine martens (Martes martes) from Croatia were observed. The highest mean Cd levels were found in kidney and liver of Eurasian badger (3.05 and 0.537 mg/kg). The highest Cu concentrations (mg/kg) measured in liver tissue were obtained in order: Eurasian badger (15.2) > brown bear (12.1) > pine marten (10.3) > Eurasian lynx (8.43) > grey wolf (6.44). Result presented that Eurasian badger accumulated the highest levels of elements: As, Cu and Pb in muscle; As, Cd, Cu and Pb in liver; Cd and Pb in kidney. Kidney of pine marten accumulated the highest concentrations of As, Cu and Hg. Omnivorous species observed present an important bioindicator for the accumulation of toxic elements indicating an enhanced vulnerability for response to ecological changes in forested terrain. Generally, element concentrations found in five species observed were lower in comparison to levels reported in previous studies and below levels related to toxicosis in mammals.
Nie, Wenhui; Wang, Jinhuan; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Fu, Beiyuan; Ying, Tian; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang
Genome-wide homology maps among stone marten (Martes foina, 2n = 38), domestic cat (Felis catus, 2n = 38), American mink (Mustela vison, 2n = 30), yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula, 2n = 40), Old World badger (Meles meles, 2n = 44), ferret badger (Melogale moschata, 2n = 38) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens, 2n = 36) have been established by cross-species chromosome painting with a complete set of stone marten probes. In total, 18 stone marten autosomal probes reveal 20, 19, 21, 18 and 21 pairs of homologous chromosomal segments in the respective genomes of American mink, yellow-throated marten. Old World badger, ferret badger and red panda. Reciprocal painting between stone marten and cat delineated 21 pairs of homologous segments shared in both stone marten and cat genomes. The chromosomal painting results indicate that most chromosomes of these species are highly conserved and show one-to-one correspondence with stone marten and cat chromosomes or chromosomal arms, and that only a few interchromosomal rearrangements (Robertsonian fusions and fissions) have occurred during species radiation. By comparing the distribution patterns of conserved chromosomal segments in both these species and the putative ancestral carnivore karyotype, we have reconstructed the pathway of karyotype evolution of these species from the putative 2n = 42 ancestral carnivore karyotype. Our results support a close phylogenetic relationship between the red panda and mustelids. The homology data presented in these maps will allow us to transfer the cat gene mapping data to other unmapped carnivore species.
Toribio, Ana Luisa; Alako, Blaise; Amid, Clara; Cerdeño-Tarrága, Ana; Clarke, Laura; Cleland, Iain; Fairley, Susan; Gibson, Richard; Goodgame, Neil; ten Hoopen, Petra; Jayathilaka, Suran; Kay, Simon; Leinonen, Rasko; Liu, Xin; Martínez-Villacorta, Josué; Pakseresht, Nima; Rajan, Jeena; Reddy, Kethi; Rosello, Marc; Silvester, Nicole; Smirnov, Dmitriy; Vaughan, Daniel; Zalunin, Vadim; Cochrane, Guy
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) offers a rich platform for data sharing, publishing and archiving and a globally comprehensive data set for onward use by the scientific community. With a broad scope spanning raw sequencing reads, genome assemblies and functional annotation, the resource provides extensive data submission, search and download facilities across web and programmatic interfaces. Here, we outline ENA content and major access modalities, highlight major developments in 2016 and outline a number of examples of data reuse from ENA. PMID:27899630
Three important doctrines of European alchemy are discussed: the Emerald Table of Hermes, the idea of transmutation, and the Elixir of Life. The analysis of these problems is focused on the 16th century, the epoch of the high flourish of alchemy in Renaissance Europe. As typical examples two works are chosen: the treatises of Jean-Pierre Fabre (1588-1658) and Alexander von Suchten (? 1520 - ? 1590). The arguments of these authors illustrate the ways how alchemists tried to defend their position in face of repeated failures. Just the 16th century stood in the sign of dramatic development of crafts, but, simultaneously, of growing interest in alchemy.
Food safety has been a growing concern among European Union (EU) citizens over the last decades. Despite the fact that food has never been safer, consumers are considerably uncertain and increasingly critical about the safety of their food. The introduction of new principles, such as the primary responsibility of producers, traceability, risk analysis, the separation of risk assessment and risk management provided a more transparent, science-based system in Europe, which can help to restore consumers' lost confidence. The present EU integrated approach to food safety 'from farm to fork' aims to assure a high level of food safety within the EU.
Gormley, E; Corner, L A L
The principal domestic maintenance host for Mycobacterium bovis is infected cattle. In countries where comprehensive surveillance schemes have been applied, tuberculosis rarely affects an animal to the extent that it presents with clinical disease. In the latter stages of an eradication campaign, the aim is to maintain the disease-free status of clear herds and eliminate foci of infection in herds as well as restricting movement of infected animals from these herds, other than to slaughter. However, the eradication of tuberculosis from cattle herds may be compromised if infected wildlife species, such as Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), share the same environment and contribute to transmission of infection. The options for dealing with tuberculosis in the wildlife reservoir hosts are limited to segregation of domestic animals from the wildlife, culling of the wildlife host or vaccination. Options are further limited by conservation and social reasons, particularly where culling is concerned. In Ireland and the UK, vaccination of badgers against M. bovis, if successfully employed, could directly facilitate the completion of bovine tuberculosis eradication. Programmes of research into vaccination of badgers are being undertaken in both countries, and there is clear evidence that vaccination induces protection. Vaccine trials in captive badgers have established that the M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can induce a protective response that limits the distribution and severity of tuberculosis disease following experimental challenge. In Ireland, a large-scale field trial of oral BCG vaccination is being conducted to measure the protection generated in wild badgers subjected to natural transmission of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy. The results will provide a framework for the development and implementation of a national strategy to address the disease in badger populations and if successful will remove this major impediment to tuberculosis
de Leeuw, Evelyne; Green, Geoff; Spanswick, Lucy; Palmer, Nicola
This paper assesses policy development in, with and for Healthy Cities in the European Region of the World Health Organization. Materials for the assessment were sourced through case studies, a questionnaire and statistical databases. They were compiled in a realist synthesis methodology, applying theory-based evaluation principles. Non-response analyses were applied to ascertain the degree of representatives of the high response rates for the entire network of Healthy Cities in Europe. Further measures of reliability and validity were applied, and it was found that our material was indicative of the entire network. European Healthy Cities are successful in developing local health policy across many sectors within and outside government. They were also successful in addressing 'wicked' problems around equity, governance and participation in themes such as Healthy Urban Planning. It appears that strong local leadership for policy change is driven by international collaboration and the stewardship of the World Health Organization. The processes enacted by WHO, structuring membership of the Healthy City Network (designation) and the guidance on particular themes, are identified as being important for the success of local policy development.
Prastacos, Poulicos; Lagarias, Apostolos
In this paper the 2006 edition of the Urban Atlas database is used to tabulate areas of low development density, usually referred to as "sprawl", for many European cities. The Urban Atlas database contains information on the land use distribution in the 305 largest European cities. Twenty different land use types are recognized, with six of them representing urban fabric. Urban fabric classes are residential areas differentiated by the density of development, which is measured by the sealing degree parameter that ranges from 0% to 100% (non-developed, fully developed). Analysis is performed on the distribution of the middle to low density areas defined as those with sealing degree less than 50%. Seven different country groups in which urban areas have similar sprawl characteristics are identified and some key characteristics of sprawl are discussed. Population of an urban area is another parameter considered in the analysis. Two spatial metrics, average patch size and mean distance to the nearest neighboring patch of the same class, are used to describe proximity/separation characteristics of sprawl in the urban areas of the seven groups.
De Marchi, Guido; Arevalo, Maria; Merin, Bruno
The European Hubble Archive (hereafter eHST), hosted at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, has been released for public use in October 2015. The eHST is now fully integrated with the other ESA science archives to ensure long-term preservation of the Hubble data, consisting of more than 1 million observations from 10 different scientific instruments. The public HST data, the Hubble Legacy Archive, and the high-level science data products are now all available to scientists through a single, carefully designed and user friendly web interface. In this talk, I will show how the the eHST can help boost archival research, including how to search on sources in the field of view thanks to precise footprints projected onto the sky, how to obtain enhanced previews of imaging data and interactive spectral plots, and how to directly link observations with already published papers. To maximise the scientific exploitation of Hubble's data, the eHST offers connectivity to virtual observatory tools, easily integrates with the recently released Hubble Source Catalog, and is fully accessible through ESA's archives multi-mission interface.
Vogt, Lorenz; Wenzel, Jürgen; Skoog, A. I.; Luck, S.; Svensson, Bengt
For the first manned flight of Hermes there will be a capability of performing EVA. The European EVA Space Suit will be an anthropomorphic system with an internal pressure of 500 hPa of pure oxygen. The pressure reduction from the Hermes cabin pressure of 1013 hPa will induce a risk for Decompression Sickness (DCS) for the EVA crewmember if no adequate protective procedures are implemented. Specific decompression procedures have to be developed. From a critical review of the literature and by using knowledge gained from research conducted in the past in the fields of diving and aerospace medicine safe protective procedures are proposed for the European EVA scenario. An R factor of 1.2 and a tissue half-time ( t1/2) of 360 minutes in a single-tissue model have been identified as appropriate operational values. On the basis of an acceptable risk level of approximately 1%, oxygen prebreathing times are proposed for (a) direct pressure reduction from 1013 hPa to a suit pressure of 500 hPa, and (b) staged decompression using a 700 hPa intermediate stage in the spacecraft cabin. In addition, factors which influence individual susceptibility to DCS are identified. Recommendations are also given in the areas of crew selection and medical monitoring requirements together with therapeutic measures that can be implemented in the Hermes scenario. A method for demonstration of the validity of proposed risks and procedures is proposed.
Lundtang Petersen, Erik
The New European Wind Atlas 1. European wind resource assessment through a ERA-NET Plus project 1.1 The new EU Atlas The Commission decided earlier this year to issue an ERA-NET Plus call for the creation and publication of a new EU wind atlas. The atlas will cover Member states as well as Member states' exclusive economic zones, both onshore and offshore. It involved the launch of a single joint call for proposals by promoters of national and/or regional programmes, thereby allowing a more efficient use of existing financial resources. Therefore the funding scheme is that of ERA-NET Plus which implies that at least 5 MS shall commit at least 1 million Euros each and the Commission tops up with on third of the MS contribution. Basically it is the MS research programmes that will execute the project but an important part of the project is to create "open project development platforms" with associated protocols allowing a wider range of scientists worldwide to contribute. The project has a duration of 5 years. The decision on the new wind atlas was taken after several years of work by the European Wind Energy Technology Platform and the European Energy Research Alliances' Joint programme for Wind Energy. 2. Structure of the project The project will be structured around three areas of work, to be implemented in parallel: 2.1 Creation and publication of a European wind atlas in electronic form, which will include the underlying data and a new EU wind climate database. The database will at a minimum include: Wind resources and their associated uncertainty; Extreme wind; Turbulence characteristics; Adverse weather conditions; Predictability for short term prediction; Guidelines. 2.2 Development of dynamical downscaling methodologies and open-source models. The developed downscaling methodologies and models will be fully documented and made public available and will be used to produce overview maps of wind resources and relevant data at several heights and a horizontal
The tasks of the European Social Fund, the European Economic Community's social policy instrument, were reviewed in l983 in the light of the worsening unemployment situation and the priority placed on employment and vocational training policies. (Author/SSH)
Oehler, F.; Oliveira, S.; Barredo, J. I.; Camia, A.; Ayanz, J. San Miguel; Pettenella, D.; Mavsar, R.
Wild fire vulnerability is a measure of potential socio-economic damage caused by a fire in a specific area. As such it is an important component of long-term fire risk management, helping policy-makers take informed decisions about adequate expenditures for fire prevention and suppression, and to target those regions at highest risk. This paper presents a first approach to assess wild fire vulnerability at the European level. A conservative approach was chosen that assesses the cost of restoring the previous land cover after a potential fire. Based on the CORINE Land Cover, a restoration cost was established for each land cover class at country level, and an average restoration time was assigned according to the recovery capacity of the land cover. The damage caused by fire was then assessed by discounting the cost of restoring the previous land cover over the restoration period. Three different vulnerability scenarios were considered assuming low, medium and high fire severity causing different levels of damage. Over Europe, the potential damage of wild land fires ranges from 10 - 13, 732 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for low fire severity, 32 - 45,772 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for medium fire severity and 54 - 77,812 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for high fire severity. The least vulnerable are natural grasslands, moors and heathland and sclerophyllous vegetation, while the highest cost occurs for restoring broad-leaved forest. Preliminary validation comparing these estimates with official damage assessments for past fires shows reasonable results. The restoration cost approach allows for a straightforward, data extensive assessment of fire vulnerability at European level. A disadvantage is the inherent simplification of the evaluation procedure with the underestimation of non-markets goods and services. Thus, a second approach has been developed, valuing individual wild land goods and services and assessing their annual flow which is lost for a certain period of time in case of a fire event. However
Favali, P.; Partnership, Emso
EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. EMSO will reply also to the need expressed in the frame of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to develop a marine segment integrated in the in situ and satellite global monitoring system. The EMSO development relays upon the synergy between the scientific community and the industry to improve the European competitiveness with respect to countries like USA/Canada, NEPTUNE, VENUS and MARS projects, Taiwan, MACHO project, and Japan, DONET project. In Europe the development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90, and presently supported by EU initiatives. The EMSO infrastructure will constitute the extension to the sea of the land-based networks. Examples of data recorded by seafloor observatories will be presented. EMSO is presently at the stage of Preparatory Phase (PP), funded in the EC FP7 Capacities Programme. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years with the participation of 12 Institutions representing 12 countries. EMSO potential will be significantly increased also with the interaction with other Research Infrastructures addressed to Earth Science. 2. IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph Waldmann); IMI-Irish Marine Institute (Ireland, ref. Michael Gillooly); UTM-CSIC-Unidad de
EMSO, a Research Infrastructure listed within ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap (Report 2006, http://cordis.europa.eu/esfri/roadmap.htm), is the European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the scientific objective of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes through long time series appropriate to the scale of the phenomena, constituting the new frontier of studying Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on previous EU-funded projects since early '90 and is being supported by several EU initiatives, as the on-going ESONET-NoE, coordinated by IFREMER (2007-2011, http://www.esonet-emso.org/esonet-noe/), and aims at gathering together the Research Community of the Ocean Observatories. In 2006 the FP7 Capacities Programme launched a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) projects, that will provide the support to create the legal and organisational entities in charge of managing the infrastructures, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. Under this call the EMSO-PP project was approved in 2007 with the coordination of INGV and the participation of other 11 Institutions of 11 countries. The project has started in April 2008 and will last 4 years. The EMSO is a key-infrastructure both for Ocean Sciences and for Solid Earth Sciences. In this respect it will enhance and complement profitably the capabilities of other European research infrastructures such as EPOS, ERICON-Aurora Borealis, and SIOS. The perspective of the synergy among EMSO and other ESFRI Research Infrastructures will be outlined. EMSO Partners: IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France, ref. Roland Person); KDM-Konsortium Deutsche Meeresforschung e.V. (Germany, ref. Christoph
This document contains a symposium paper and a conference paper. "Equal Opportunities and European Educational and Vocational Policy" explores the symposium theme of concepts of difference as it relates directly to the European discourse of equal opportunities and its influence on European educational and vocational policy. It outlines…
Keiner, Edwin; Hofbauer, Susann
The process of Europeanisation is closely linked to the process of an emerging European Educational Research Area and an education research identity. The European Conferences on Educational Research (ECER), European Educational Research Association (EERA) and its networks are involved in new directions and strands of educational research in…
Zhang, Shoufeng; Tang, Qing; Wu, Xianfu; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Fei; Rupprecht, Charles E.
Ferret badger–associated human rabies cases emerged in China in 1994. We used a retrospective epidemiologic survey, virus isolation, laboratory diagnosis, and nucleotide sequencing to document its reemergence in 2002–2008. Whether the cause is spillover from infected dogs or recent host shift and new reservoir establishment requires further investigation. PMID:19523299
Turiel, I.; Lebot, B.
The European Community (EC) recently commissioned a study of the impact of potential appliance standards on electricity consumption in the twelve EC nations. This study looks at refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers. The impact of minimum efficiency standards on electricity use over the time period from 1995--2010 is estimated. The results of this study were presented to the EC in September of 1991. Revisions were made to the draft report and final copies sent to all interested parties. The member nations of the EC will soon consider whether they wish to implement uniform energy efficiency standards that would take effect in 1995. The results of the study described above will be presented and the political considerations will be discussed. In addition, data describing the appliance market in Europe will be presented.
Krementz, D.G.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.
We tested the hypotheses that mass at fledging and fledge date within the breeding season affect postfledging survival in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Nestlings were weighed on day 18 after hatch and tagged with individually identifiable patagial tags. Fledge date was recorded. Marked fledglings were resighted during weekly two-day intensive observation periods for 9 weeks postfledging. Post-fledging survival and sighting probabilities were estimated for each of four groups (early or late fledging by heavy or light fledging mass). Body mass was related to post-fledging survival for birds that fledged early. Results were not clear-cut for relative fledge date, although there was weak evidence that this also influenced survival. Highest survival probability estimates occurred in the EARLY-HEAVY group, while the lowest survival estimate occurred in the LATE-LIGHT group. Sighting probabilities differed significantly among groups, emphasizing the need to estimate and compare survival using models which explicitly incorporate sighting probabilities.
Smith, Pete; Falloon, Pete
The Marrakech Accords allow biospheric carbon sinks and sources to be included in attempts to meet emission reduction targets for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Forest management, cropland management, grazing land management, and re-vegetation are allowable activities under Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol. Soil carbon sinks (and sources) can, therefore, be included under these activities. Croplands are estimated to be the largest biospheric source of carbon lost to the atmosphere in Europe each year, but the cropland estimate is the most uncertain among all land-use types. It is estimated that European croplands (for Europe as far east as the Urals) lose 300 Tg (C) per year, with the mean figure for the European Union estimated to be 78 Tg (C) per year (with one SD=37). National estimates for EU countries are of a similar order of magnitude on a per-area basis. There is significant potential within Europe to decrease the flux of carbon to the atmosphere from cropland, and for cropland management to sequester soil carbon, relative to the amount of carbon stored in cropland soils at present. The biological potential for carbon storage in European (EU 15) cropland is of the order of 90-120 Tg (C) per year, with a range of options available that include reduced and zero tillage, set-aside, perennial crops, deep rooting crops, more efficient use of organic amendments (animal manure, sewage sludge, cereal straw, compost), improved rotations, irrigation, bioenergy crops, extensification, organic farming, and conversion of arable land to grassland or woodland. The sequestration potential, considering only constraints on land use, amounts of raw materials and available land, is up to 45 Tg (C) per year. The realistic potential and the conservative achievable potentials may be considerably lower than the biological potential because of socioeconomic and other constraints, with a realistically achievable potential estimated to be about 20% of the
The mission of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) is to enable high impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. PRACE seeks to realize this mission by offering world class computing and data management resources and services through a peer review process. This talk gives a general overview about PRACE and the PRACE research infrastructure (RI). PRACE is established as an international not-for-profit association and the PRACE RI is a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure which offers access to computing and data management resources at partner sites distributed throughout Europe. Besides a short summary about the organization, history, and activities of PRACE, it is explained how scientists and researchers from academia and industry from around the world can access PRACE systems and which education and training activities are offered by PRACE. The overview also contains a selection of PRACE contributions to societal challenges and ongoing activities. Examples of the latter are beside others petascaling, application benchmark suite, best practice guides for efficient use of key architectures, application enabling / scaling, new programming models, and industrial applications. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent world-class high performance computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by 4 PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements RI-261557, RI-283493 and RI
Bauer, Johannes M.
Discusses universal service policies in the European Union. Topics include information access; the demise of the public service model; the effects of competition on universal service; financing; national implementation of member states; programs for schools and libraries; and pertinent Web sites on European universal service policy. (LRW)
Andrews, Paul; Sayers, Judy
This article discusses a comparative study, funded by the European Union, of the teaching of mathematics in five European countries, (Flanders, England, Finland, Hungary and Spain) to students in the upper primary (ages 10-12) and lower secondary (12-14) years. These ages were chosen as they represent a time when many students' experiences of…
European Commission, 2012
European industrial doctorates are joint doctoral training projects funded by the European Union (EU) and open to all research fields. The project brings together an academic participant (university, research institution, etc.) and a company. They have to be established in two different EU Member States or associated countries. Associated partners…
González-Barrio, David; Maio, Elisa; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena
We studied the role of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as a reservoir for Coxiella burnetii in the Iberian region. High individual and population seroprevalences observed in wild and farmed rabbits, evidence of systemic infections, and vaginal shedding support the reservoir role of the European rabbit for C. burnetii. PMID:25988670
Since the last edition of the Journal, the European Prison Education Association (EPEA) has been officially elected a member of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) at EAEA's General Assembly held at the University of Latvia in Riga. The EAEA is the largest umbrella organization in Europe advocating lifelong learning. It is…
Linguistic history has described borrowing in the European languages as a process exclusive to one language at any given time. However, it is more likely that there is a core of common loan words, or internationalisms, in many European languages. These internationalisms have come from a variety of sources: the historic interrelatedness of…
Waddington, Sue; Tuckett, Alan; Boucher, Fiona
The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is the UK national coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning, with the challenge of creating a coherent message across the four countries to inform European cooperation on adult learning. To start the debate, the journal staff asked Sue Waddington, Alan Tuckett, and Fiona…
This paper analyzes the effect of the unified single market of 1992 on European telecommunications. The major policy aspects of the European Economic Commission's Green Paper on "The Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment" are highlighted, and the effects of these policies in the equipment market…
Negotiations concerning Greece's accession into the European Union began as early as 1961, when a cooperation agreement was signed between Greece and the European Economic Community. These negotiations were concluded 20 years later, on 1 January 1981, when Greece became the tenth full member of the EU. The next major step in Greece's progress…
Transnational collaboration by educational researchers in Europe has grown fast since the mid-1990s and the means to support it have become more easily accessible. A study of the growth of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) since its foundation in the mid-1990s shows how transnational research in European education began, and how…
This paper presents European perspectives on the future of copyright management. The first section is an overview of intellectual property rights in Europe, including differences between copyright countries and "droit d'auteur" countries. The second section addresses European Community legal policy, including examples related to the…
The purpose of this study, the first part of a recently concluded project, is to describe and analyse the perceptions that European university students have of European citizenship and to offer some insight into the term. Before describing our findings, we offer a brief review of the concept of citizenship, attempting to define it in the European…
Giangrande, Paul; Calizzani, Gabriele; Menichini, Ivana; Candura, Fabio; Mannucci, Pier Mannuccio; Makris, Michael
Introduction The European haemophilia community of professionals and patients has agreed on the principles of haemophilia care to address comprehensive optimal delivery of care which is nowadays scattered throughout Europe. Many of the health facilities call themselves Haemophilia Centres despite their variation in size, expertise and services provided. Only a small number of countries have Haemophilia Centre accreditation systems in place. Methods In the framework of the European Haemophilia Network project, following an inclusive process of stakeholder involvement, the European Guidelines for the certification of haemophilia centres have been developed in order to set quality standards for European Haemophilia Centres and criteria for their certification. Results The Guidelines define the standards and criteria for the designation of two levels of care delivery: European Haemophilia Treatment Centres, providing local routine care, and European Haemophilia Comprehensive Care Centres, providing specialised and multi-disciplinary care and functioning as tertiary referral centres. Additionally, they define standards about general requirements, patient care, provision of an advisory service and establishment of network of clinical and specialised services. Conclusions The implementation of the European Guidelines for the certification of Haemophilia Centres will contribute to the reduction of health inequalities through the standardisation of quality of care in European Union Member States and could represent a model to be taken into consideration for other rare disease groups. PMID:24922293
Hogenraad, Robert; Tousignant, Nathalie; Castano, Emanuele; Bestgen, Yves; Dumoulin, Michel
With a view on analyzing the deeper trends in the European discourse that will shape the European Union's (EU's) future, a study examined 121 speeches made by EU political leaders over the period 1985-1997 and concorded and statisticized which words were used, how often, where, and when with the help of a computer-aided content analysis engine.…
An analysis of Standard Average European, a European linguistic area, looks at 11 of its features (definite, indefinite articles, have-perfect, participial passive, antiaccusative prominence, nominative experiencers, dative external possessors, negation/negative pronouns, particle comparatives, A-and-B conjunction, relative clauses, verb fronting…
Lindley, R M
The impact of economic and technological trends upon the level and structure of labor demand is examined, exploring the methods used to model the labor market and making special reference to demography and technology. Evidence on recent and prospective changes in labor demand is reviewed for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. The models used to explore future employment scenarios usually fail to incorporate the linkages required to fully analyze the various demographic-economic interactions. Further, this is not generally viewed as a limitation, given the time frame of most employment projections and their preoccupation with changes in the structure of labor demand. Medium-term multisectoral models tend to pay more attention to both demographic and technical change, but the treatment of both aspects is limited. The projections provide a framework for considering how both socioeconomic behavior and policy might change to achieve different outcomes. The greater a model's behavioral content, as expressed in its relationships between different variables, the greater the insight obtainable from simulation exercises. The 1st half of the 1970s was characterized by a reduction in German employment, representing the severest of European reactions to the oil crisis. The 2nd half of the decade recorded rapid growth in Italy and the Netherlands. The 1980s started with marked declines in Germany and the UK. Overall, the net gains of the 1970s were lost in the recession following the 2nd oil crisis. In none of the 5 countries studied does any realistic prospect emerge of achieving full employment before 2000. The most optimistic outcome is that unemployment will decline only slowly, it at all. The growth of both new forms and areas of employment will not compensate sufficiently for the loss of jobs elsewhere and the growth of labor supply. The industrial sector will continue to experience change in favor of the service sector but at a slower rate than during
Mäkinen, Mia Maria; Rautava, Päivi Tuire; Forsström, Jari Johannes
The aim of this article is to consider the suitability of online pharmacies into European internal market area. This required considering the models of present online pharmacies in respect to the existing legislation. Data on online pharmacy settings was collected by looking some online pharmacies, which were found by using Goggle search machine with term "online pharmacy" and by studying websites of some well-known online pharmacies. European legislation and policy were studied from European Union's official website. Online drug markets seem to be increasing in popularity for reasons related to their ready availability and cost benefits. Few online pharmacies are based in Europe, yet online markets are worldwide. Community legislation does not stipulate on the legality of online pharmacies on European internal markets. Instead Community legislation offers framework for electronic commerce that could also include online pharmacy practise. National legislation, however, may rule them out either directly or indirectly. Regardless of European internal markets online pharmacies' cross-border operations are particularly complicated. Preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice concerning one European online pharmacy's cross-border practise is awaited 2003-2004 and will offer some aspects for future.
Features of a European hypersonic winged reentry vehicle, Hermes, are presented, together with the technology requirements for its development and the missions it would serve. LEO is beginning to hold promise for the manufacture of materials in microgravity and/or vacuum conditions in orbiting facilities which need to be serviced. A manned, reusable, winged reentry vehicle would permit the delivery and return of payloads from space, recovery of the first stage of the Ariane V rocket for reuse, and return of the Hermes to a landing at the Kourou launch site. The avionics would be similar to those of modern aircraft, as would the landing system. In-orbit operational techniques would be needed, as would an internal environment similar to Spacelab, a rigid turnaround time, high utilization rate, and a 10 yr lifetime. The length of the Hermes is projected as 12.5 m, wingtip to wingtip breadth of 7.4 m, and a total mass of 11,400 kg for a heliosynchronous orbit mission, while 15,400 kg are available for a circular, 490 m/sec orbit.
Tornos, Pilar; Gonzalez-Alujas, Teresa; Thuny, Frank; Habib, Gilbert
Infective endocarditis (IE) is a difficult and complex disease. In recent years epidemiology and microbiology have changed. In developed countries IE is now affecting older patients and patients with no previously known valve disease. Prosthetic IE (prosthetic valve endocarditis [PVE]) and endocarditis in patients with pacemakers and other devices (cardiac device related infective endocarditis [CDRIE]) are becoming more frequent. The number of Staphylococcus aureus IE is increasing related to the number of endocarditis that occurs because of health care associated procedures, especially in diabetics or patients on chronic hemodialysis. The change in the underlying population and the increase in the number of cases caused by very virulent organism explain why the disease still carries a poor prognosis and a high mortality. The variety of clinical manifestations and complications, as well as the serious prognosis, makes it mandatory that IE patients need to be treated in experienced hospitals with a collaborative approach between different specialists, involving cardiologists, infectious disease specialists, microbiologists, surgeons, and frequently others, including neurologists and radiologists. Only an early diagnosis followed by risk stratification and a prompt institution of the correct antibiotic treatment as well as an appropriate and timed surgical indication may improve mortality figures. The recent European Guidelines try to provide clear and simple recommendations, obtained by expert consensus after thorough review of the available literature to all specialists involved in clinical decision-making of this difficult and changing disease.
Insulin analogues are increasingly considered as an alternative to human insulin in the therapy of diabetes mellitus. Insulin analogues (IAs) are chemically different from human insulin and may have different pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic properties. The significance of the modifications of the insulin molecule for the safety profile of IAs must be considered. This review describes the regulatory procedure and the expectations for the scientific content of European marketing authorization applications for innovative IAs submitted to the European Medicines Agency. Particular consideration is given to a potential cancer hazard. Specific regulatory guidance on how to address a possible carcinogenic or tumor promoting effect of innovative IAs in non-clinical studies is available. After marketing authorization, the factual access of patients to the new product will be determined to great extent by health technology assessment bodies, reimbursement decisions and the price. Whereas the marketing authorization is a European decision, pricing and reimbursement are national or regional responsibilities. The assessment of benefit and risk by the European Medicines Agency is expected to influence future decisions on price and reimbursement on a national or regional level. Collaborations between regulatory agencies and health technology assessment bodies have been initiated on European and national level to facilitate the use of the European Medicines Agency's benefit risk assessment as basis on which to build the subsequent health technology assessment. The option for combined or joint scientific advice procedures with regulators and health technology assessment bodies on European level or on a national level in several European Member States may help applicants to optimize their development program and dossier preparation in regard of both European marketing authorization application and reimbursement decisions. PMID:21736748
Denial of Service DRP Disaster Recovery Plan ENISA European Network and Information Security Agency FedRAMP Federal Risk and Authorization...federated identity management) 116 Lee Badger and Tim Grance, “Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart...computing-usage.html (accessed October 1, 2010). 119 Badger and Grance, “Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart Adoption of Cloud Computing.” 120
Reinhartz, K. K.
The organization of space and energy research in Europe is discussed. The European situation is highlighted with emphasis on the dependency of energy imports and on the energy requirements of Europe. The status of SPS research in the countries that form the European Space Agency was reviewed. It is concluded that in view of the unfavorable geographical and climatic situation of large parts of Europe, terrestrial solar energy conversion is unlikely to make a significant contribution to Europe's future energy supply. Thus, SPS development is of special interest to the European community.
Sun, Wei, , Dr.; Ellmers, Frank; Winkler, Andreas; Schuff, Herbert; Sansegundo Chamarro, Manuel Julián
Hispasat Advanced Generation 1 (HAG1) is the first satellite using the SGEO platform, which is under the development in the ESA Artes-11 program. Since the last presentation in the IAC 2007, a European industrial consortium led by OHB has completed the mission and spacecraft design. The platform Preliminary Design Review has been carried out in May 2008. The customer for the first mission is a commercial operator—Hispasat. The contract was signed in December 2008 and the satellite will be launched in 2012. To give confidence to the customer, SGEO platform will use up to date flight proven technologies. HAG1 carries 20/24 Ku-band and 3/5 Ka-band transponders to provide commercial services. Some innovative payload technologies will also be flown on board of HAG1 to gain in-orbit heritage. SGEO has also been selected as the baseline platform for the ESA Data Relay Satellite (EDRS). Phase-A study has just kicked off in January 2009. The targeted launch date is 2013. Heinrich Hertz will also use the SGEO platform. Heinrich Hertz is funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and provides flight opportunities for technologies and components developed by the German Space Industry. With the HAG1 contract in hand, and EDRS and Heinrich Hertz in the line, OHB with its partners has the confidence that it will be able to speed up the product development of the SGEO platform for potential customers in the commercial market. This paper will first present the updated platform design and the status of the product development will be followed with the introduction of innovative payload technologies on board the first mission—HAG1 and ended with the mission concepts of EDRS and Heinrich Hertz missions.
Guha, K; McDonagh, T
Heart failure poses an increasing problem for global healthcare systems. The epidemiological data which has been accrued over the last thirty years has predominantly been accumulated from experience within North America and Europe. Initial large cohort, prospective longitudinal studies produced the first publications; however latterly the focus has shifted onto epidemiological data governing hospitalisation and mortality. The emphasis behind this shift has been the resource implications with regards to repetitive, costly and prolonged hospitalisation. The European experience in heart failure, though similar to North America has recently demonstrated differences in hospitalisation which may underlie the differences between healthcare system configuration. Heart failure however remains an increasing global problem and the endpoint of a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Allied with the fact of increasingly elderly populations and prior data demonstrating a steep rise in prevalent cases within more elderly populations, it is likely that the increasing burden of disease will continue to pose challenges for modern healthcare. Despite the predicted increase in the number of patients affected by heart failure, over the last thirty years, a clear management algorithm has evolved for the use of pharmacotherapies (neuro-hormonal antagonists), device based therapies (Implantable Cardioverting Defibrillator (ICD) and Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT)) and mechanical therapies including left ventricular assist devices and cardiac transplantation. Though the management of such patients has been clearly delineated in national and international guidelines, the underuse of all available and appropriate therapies remains a significant problem. When comparing various epidemiological studies from different settings and timepoints, it should be remembered that rates of prevalence and incidence may vary depending upon the definition used, methods of accumulating information (with
AA In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a microgravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. European efforts to characterize the microgravity (1/9) environment within a space laboratory began in the late seventies with the design of the First Spacelab Mission SL-1. Its Material Science Double Rack was the first payload element to carry its own tri-axial acceleration package. Even though incapable for any frequency analysis, the data provided a wealth of novel information for optimal experiment and hardware design and operations for missions to come. Theoretical investigations under ESA contract demonstrated the significance of the detailed knowledge of micro-g data for a thorough experiment analysis. They especially revealed the high sensitivity of numerous phenomena to low frequency acceleration. Accordingly, the payloads of the Spacelab missions D-1 and D-2 were furnished with state-of-the-art detection systems to ensure frequency analysis between 0.1 and 100 Hz. The Microgravity Measurement Assembly (MMA) of D-2 was a centralized system comprising fixed installed as well as mobile tri-axial packages showing real-time data processing and transmission to ground. ESA's free flyer EURECA carried a system for continuous measurement over the entire mission. All EURECA subsystems and experimental facilities had to meet tough requirements defining the upper acceleration limits. In a French/Russion cooperation, CNES developed a mi crogravity detection system for analyzing the Mir space station micro-g-environment for the first time. An approach to get access to low frequency acceleration between 0 and 0.02 Hz will be realized by QSAM (Quasi-steady Acceleration Measurement) on IML-2, complementary to the NASA system Spacelab Acceleration Measurement System SAMS. A second flight of QSAM is planned for the Russian free flyer FOTON.
Gregory, Richard D; van Strien, Arco; Vorisek, Petr; Gmelig Meyling, Adriaan W; Noble, David G; Foppen, Ruud P.B; Gibbons, David W
The global pledge to deliver ‘a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’ is echoed in a number of regional and national level targets. There is broad consensus, however, that in the absence of conservation action, biodiversity will continue to be lost at a rate unprecedented in the recent era. Remarkably, we lack a basic system to measure progress towards these targets and, in particular, we lack standard measures of biodiversity and procedures to construct and assess summary statistics. Here, we develop a simple classification of biodiversity indicators to assist their development and clarify purpose. We use European birds, as example taxa, to show how robust indicators can be constructed and how they can be interpreted. We have developed statistical methods to calculate supranational, multi-species indices using population data from national annual breeding bird surveys in Europe. Skilled volunteers using standardized field methods undertake data collection where methods and survey designs differ slightly across countries. Survey plots tend to be widely distributed at a national level, covering many bird species and habitats with reasonable representation. National species' indices are calculated using log-linear regression, which allows for plot turnover. Supranational species' indices are constructed by combining the national species' indices weighted by national population sizes of each species. Supranational, multi-species indicators are calculated by averaging the resulting indices. We show that common farmland birds in Europe have declined steeply over the last two decades, whereas woodland birds have not. Evidence elsewhere shows that the main driver of farmland bird declines is increased agricultural intensification. We argue that the farmland bird indicator is a useful surrogate for trends in other elements of biodiversity in this habitat. PMID:15814345
Barraclough, S.; Ratcliffe, A.; Buchwald, R.; Scheer, H.; Chapuy, M.; Garland, M.; Rebuffat, D.
Phootprint is an ESA funded feasibility study for a European Phobos Sample Return Mission. A complete system design has been performed including ERC, Landing Leg, Sample Acquisition System and GNC Proximity Operations.
European packaging recycling and reduction efforts helped reshape recycling efforts and thinking. This article provides an update on what is happening with packaging recycling in Europe and how it affects the rest of the world, especially the US. World recycling markets were shaken by the enactment of the German Packaging Recycling ordinance of 1991. While the initial market shock waves may have subsided, the effects are still being felt. The ordinance has changed the way European countries think about packaging waste, and that way of thinking has spread, in various forms, around the world, affecting US manufacturers and causing US lawmakers to at least consider similar legislation here. The German Packaging Ordinance, its counterparts in other countries, and the European Union (EU) Directive have, themselves, been evolutionary as well as revolutionary--reacting and changing over the past five years. US reaction to the European laws has also evolved, moving from horror and annoyance to a reasoned analysis and evaluation.
The European training curriculum for radiology of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) aims to harmonize training in radiology in Europe. Levels I and II constitute the centerpiece of the curriculum. The ESR recommends a 5-year training period in radiology with 3 years of level I and 2 years of level II training. The undergraduate (U) level curriculum is conceived as a basis for teaching radiology in medical schools and consists of a modality-oriented U1 level and an organ-based U2 level. Level III curricula provide contents for subspecialty and fellowship training after board certification in radiology. The curricular contents of all parts of the European Training Curriculum are divided into the sections knowledge, skills as well as competences and attitudes. The European training curriculum is meant to be a recommendation and a basis for the development of national curricula, but is not meant to replace existing national regulations.
Powell, Pippa; Williams, Sîan
Key points Although there are many patient organisations in Europe, this is not the case in all countries across the globe. Access to care is one of the main global issues highlighted by the European Lung Foundation International Patient Advisory Committee. The European Respiratory Society/European Lung Foundation Healthy Lungs for Life campaign can be used locally or globally to raise awareness of the risk factors for lung disease. Implementation science is a method that can be used to assess the feasibility of using research findings in routine healthcare in clinical settings in different parts of the world. Educational aims To show how patient- and public-focussed initiatives and activities can be adapted and modified to be effective in local, national and international settings, and to provide specific examples of these from the European Lung Foundation. PMID:28210296
Europe's view of natural gas as a clean fuel is driving demand faster than European producers can supply the fuel. By 2010 European gas demand is expected to rise by 50%, so imports will need to rise in step. There are plenty of gas reserves within and in reach of the European market to meet increasing needs. But current low gas prices in Europe are a barrier to development of gas projects, which are large, long term investments. Meanwhile, the structure of Europe and its gas markets is changing. There is a trend to privatization and uncertainty over the future role of state gas monopolies. The paper discusses European production, natural gas as a primary energy source, gas sources, price requirements, megaprojects, the Middle East promise, new infrastructure, power generation, privatization, and third party access.
The European Space Agency's (ESA) fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo craft (ATV-4) launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:52 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to begin a 10-day t...
Behavioral Sciences -7The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction . ............................ Richard E. Snow 451 The first and...Metallwerk Plansee--A Leader in Powder Metallurgy ............................. Kenneth D. Challenger 466 This is the first of two articles this month focusing...intended to be exhaustive; it is expected that the organization of The first and founding conference future EARLI conferences wiil work with of the European
Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali
Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620,000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220,000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of
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Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Cauquil, Laura; Roy, Lise; Franco, Stéphanie; Hendrikx, Pascal; Ribière-Chabert, Magali
Over the last few years, many European and North American countries have reported a high rate of disorders (mortality, dwindling and disappearance) affecting honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). Although beekeeping has become an increasingly professional activity in recent years, the beekeeping industry remains poorly documented in Europe. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health sent a detailed questionnaire to each Member State, in addition to Kosovo and Norway, to determine the demographics and state of their beekeeping industries. Based on data supplied by the National Reference Laboratory for honeybee diseases in each European country, a European database was created to describe the beekeeping industry including the number and types of beekeepers, operation size, industry production, and health (notifiable diseases, mortalities). The total number of beekeepers in Europe was estimated at 620 000. European honey production was evaluated at around 220 000 tons in 2010. The price of honey varied from 1.5 to 40 €/kg depending on the country and on the distribution network. The estimated colony winter mortality varied from 7 to 28% depending on the country and the origin of the data (institutional survey or beekeeping associations). This survey documents the high heterogeneity of the apicultural industry within the European Union. The high proportion of non-professional beekeepers and the small mean number of colonies per beekeeper were the only common characteristics at European level. The tremendous variation in European apicultural industries has implication for any comprehensive epidemiological or economic analysis of the industry. This variability needs to be taken into account for such analysis as well as for future policy development. The industry would be served if beekeeping registration was uniformly implemented across member states. Better information on the package bee and queen production would help in understanding the ability of
Many of the long-awaited changes to the European gas market are now imminent. Institutional developments and market forces are combining to produce a transformation. This major study analyzes the developments in a wide range of European countries, including central and eastern Europe. In examining how different institutional traditions and political priorities will affect the gas market, Stern explores the potential for a distinct continental European model of competition and liberalization.
Roellig, Kathleen; Menzies, Brandon R; Hildebrandt, Thomas B; Goeritz, Frank
Superfetation is understood as another conception during an already ongoing pregnancy. This implies the existence of young of different developmental stages within the female reproductive tract during certain periods of pregnancy. Nevertheless, a clear definition of the term as well as distinct criteria to identify the occurrence of superfetation in a species is missing. The variable anatomy of mammalian reproductive tracts seems to make the occurrence of superfetation more or less likely but impedes the simple evaluation of whether it is present or not. Additionally, adequate determination methods are missing or are difficult to apply at the right time. Superfetation or rather superfetation-like pregnancies are reported for numerous species including humans, livestock and rodents. The usual criteria to assume a case of superfetation include the finding of discordantly developed young within the uterus during post mortem or parturition of young after a birth interval shorter than the assumed pregnancy length. Often the occurrence of superfetation is concluded because other explanations of reproductive artifacts are missing. Even severe reproductive pathologies are often confused with superfetation. True superfetation or superfetation as a reproductive strategy may exist in some mammals. In the American mink (Neovison (Mustela) vison) and the European badger (Meles meles) superfetation occurs in combination with embryonic diapause. In the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), superfetation has long been assumed to exist but evidence is still controversial. Superfetation definitely occurs in certain species of poeciliid and zenarchopterid fish, some of which also exhibit viviparity and maternal care. In mammals, the evolution of such a reproductive mechanism poses many interesting evolutionary, endocrine, microbial and immunological questions that require further investigation. Here we review the scant and at times ancient literature on this poorly understood topic
Celms, A.; Reķe, I.; Ratkevičs, A.
Till 1 December, 2014, in Latvia the heights were determined in Baltic Normal Height System 1977. The national height system is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers and internal laws. Now for the change of the national height system to reconcile it with the European Vertical Reference System, amendments to the laws and regulations have been developed, but so far only the amendment to the Geospatial Information Law is in force, the amendment to the regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers is still not approved. This amendment declares the Latvia Height System based on the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia as the national height system. For height transformation, there is a transformation formula for each European country. After calculations it is seen that height difference between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and European Vertical Reference System depends on point location in the territory (coordinates). This unequal height difference between both height systems will cause unequal height values on border connection points between Baltic countries. The aim of the research is to evaluate the European Vertical Reference System in Latvia. To reach the aim the following tasks are set: 1) to evaluate the components of transformation formulas; 2) using the transformation formulas to calculate height differences between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the European Vertical Reference System realization EVRF2007 for the territory of Latvia and also between Baltic Normal Height System 1977 and the Latvia Normal Height System; 3) to get height differences in the European Vertical Reference System on the borderlines of Latvia - Estonia and Latvia - Lithuania.
Hanish, Anna; Rank, Astrid; Seeber, Gunther
The authors conducted a cross-national curriculum analysis as part of a European Union Comenius project regarding the implementation of an online tool to foster environmental education (EE) in primary schools. The overall goal was to determine the extent and intensity that EE is embedded in the syllabi of five European countries. To this end, the…
The restructuring of European higher education (EHE) since the 1980s is a widely studied subject. However, this paper argues that previous studies have paid insufficient attention to the role of transnational policy-making groups in this complex and multilevel process. This argument is supported by focusing on how the European Round Table of…
Grek, Sotiria; Lawn, Martin; Ozga, Jenny; Segerholm, Christina
This paper draws on the first, completed phase of a research project on inspection as governing in three European inspection systems. The data presented here draw attention to the rather under-researched associational activities of European inspectorates and their developing practices of policy learning and exchange, and highlight their…
European Education, 1991
Describes the European Community's efforts to unify Europe and enhance competitiveness in world markets by improving use of available intellectual potential. Discusses ERASMUS, the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Explains the role of Inter-University Cooperation Programs (ICPs), a course credit transfer…
In this article, the Bologna Process and the European Research Area are viewed as the two sides of the same coin: that of the redefinition of the missions of the institution of the university. The Bologna Process is viewed as relatively closed to global developments: as largely inward-looking, focused on European regional problems (and European…
Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Juste, R A
A survey of Angiostrongylus parasites was carried out between 2003 and 2006 in wild carnivore species in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Parasitological examination consisted in the dissection of heart and lungs for the extraction of adult worms. Nematodes were identified using morphometrical features and also PCR amplification and sequencing analysis. The animal species included in this study were Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Weasel (Mustela nivalis), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Polecat (Mustela putorius), American mink (Mustela vison), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wolf (Canis lupus), Wild cat (Felis silvestris), and Small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Angiostrongylus parasites were only found in foxes and badgers at prevalences of 33.3% and 24%, respectively. Identification of the nematodes by morphometrical features revealed that foxes were infected with A. vasorum while badgers were infected by a different species of Angiostrongylus most likely A. daskalovi. Sequencing data of the second internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS2) of isolates from each species confirmed the species difference. The high prevalence of Angiostrongylus found in the present survey, indicates that the wild cycle of two different species of Angiostrongylus is present in the Basque Country. To our knowledge this is the first report of A. daskalovi in the Iberian Peninsula.
van der Krogt, Rob; Hughes, Richard; Pedersen, Mikael; Serrano, Jean-Jacques; Lee, Kathryn A.; Tulstrup, Jørgen; Robida, François
The increasing importance of geological information for policy, regulation and business needs at European and international level has been recognized by the European Parliament and the European Commission, who have called for the development of a common European geological knowledge base. The societal relevance of geoscience data/information is clear from many current issues such as shale gas exploration (including environmental impacts), the availability of critical mineral resources in a global economy, management and security with regard to geohazards (seismic, droughts, floods, ground stability), quality of (ground-)water and soil and societal responses to the impacts of climate change. The EGDI-Scope project responds to this, aiming to prepare an implementation plan for a pan-European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI), under the umbrella of the FP7 e- Infrastructures program. It is envisaged that the EGDI will build on geological datasets and models currently held by the European Geological Surveys at national and regional levels, and will also provide a platform for datasets generated by the large number of relevant past, ongoing and future European projects which have geological components. With European policy makers and decision makers from (international) industry as the main target groups (followed by research communities and the general public) stakeholder involvement is imperative to the successful realization and continuity of the EGDI. With these ambitions in mind, the presentation will focus on the following issues, also based on the first results and experiences of the EGDI-Scope project that started mid-2012: • The organization of stakeholder input and commitment connected to relevant 'use cases' within different thematic domains; a number of stakeholder representatives is currently involved, but the project is open to more extensive participation; • A large number of European projects relevant for data delivery to EGDI has been reviewed
When developing accessible, affordable and effective mental health systems, exchange of data between countries is an important moving force towards better mental health care. Unfortunately, health information systems in most countries are weak in the field of mental health, and comparability of data is low. Special international data collection exercises, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Atlas Project and the WHO Baseline Project have provided valuable insights in the state of mental health systems in countries, but such single-standing data collections are not sustainable solutions. Improvements in routine data collection are urgently needed. The European Commission has initiated major improvements to ensure harmonized and comprehensive health data collection, by introducing the European Community Health Indicators set and the European Health Interview Survey. However, both of these initiatives lack strength in the field of mental health. The neglect of the need for relevant and valid comparable data on mental health systems is in conflict with the importance of mental health for European countries and the objectives of the 'Europe 2020' strategy. The need for valid and comparable mental health services data is today addressed only by single initiatives, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development work to establish quality indicators for mental health care. Real leadership in developing harmonized mental health data across Europe is lacking. A European Mental Health Observatory is urgently needed to lead development and implementation of monitoring of mental health and mental health service provision in Europe.
Ziegler, A.H. Jr.
Using original and previously published survey data, this study explores West European public attitudes about Atlantic cooperation in general and NATO in particular. Alternative viewpoints are categorized into a typology that is used to describe the conceptual nature of European beliefs and to measure the level of public support for the different viewpoints. Long-term trends in these attitudes and causal determinants are also examined. A distinguishing feature of this study is that it is truly comparative. The analysis relies on identical survey items administered in four European countries: Great Britain, France, West German, and Italy. The longitudinal data examined indicate that some fundamental changes have occurred in European security beliefs. Anti-Americanism has increased dramatically at the same time that attitudes toward the Soviet Union have become more favorable, and the fear of nuclear weapons and nuclear war has increased substantially. Explanations for these shifts in opinion are not found in sociological factors, such as changes in generational experiences, educational levels, or social classes; but instead, European attitudes appear to reflect broad changes in international politics, such as the Vietnam War, nuclear parity, and detente. Favorable opinion for NATO tends to be high, yet specific defense-related measures receive much less support.
Fernandes, Tito H
The aim of this review is to provide an insight into the current state of, and future changes in, veterinary education within the European Community, as well as the role of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) in evaluating and raising standards of education and training. It also describes the role of EAEVE in developing strategies for changes in the future. Veterinary schools have traditionally aimed at producing the omnicompetent veterinarian at graduation. Many have questioned whether this is possible, and a recent European Commission (EC) funded market survey has confirmed that this is indeed an impossible task and has identified the requirements of society within the European Union (EU) for veterinary services in the future. There is however a need to change the current 1978 European Directive. The current mechanisms which have been used by EAEVE to evaluate over 100 veterinary schools in Europe and their relationship with other systems of appraisal are described. The future of veterinary education within the context of higher education in Europe as part of the Bologna process and in relation to standards of veterinary education worldwide are discussed. Whilst the merits of standardisation of educational quality so that there can be mutual recognition of qualifications are supported, the need to preserve the strengths associated with the diversity of approaches and teaching methods is strongly advocated.
in 2005, some critics argue that, though the European Union (EU) has become an economic superpower, it is still a negligible player in the realm of...PAGES 121 14. SUBJECT TERMS European Union (EU), European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), European Union Forces (EUFOR), Bosnia and...Balkans and showed a startling incapacity to deal with this crisis. Even in 2005, some critics argue that, though the European Union (EU) has become an
Deguilloux, Marie-France; Leahy, Rachael; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Rottier, Stéphane
Neolithic processes underlying the distribution of genetic diversity among European populations have been the subject of intense debate since the first genetic data became available. However, patterns observed in the current European gene pool are the outcome of Paleolithic and Neolithic processes, overlaid with four millennia of further developments. This observation encouraged paleogeneticists to contribute to the debate by directly comparing genetic variation from the ancient inhabitants of Europe to their contemporary counterparts. Pre-Neolithic and Neolithic paleogenetic data are becoming increasingly available for north and northwest European populations. Despite the numerous problems inherent in the paleogenetic approach, the accumulation of ancient DNA datasets offers new perspectives from which to interpret the interactions between hunter-gatherer and farming communities. In light of information emerging from diverse disciplines, including recent paleogenetic studies, the most plausible model explaining the movement of Neolithic pioneer groups in central Europe is that of leapfrog migration.
Chiarini, Andrea; Vagnoni, Emidia
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to enlarge the debate concerning the influence of leadership on environmental sustainability implementation in European public healthcare organisations. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is a viewpoint. It is based on preliminary analysis of European standards dedicated to environmental sustainability and their spread across Europe in public healthcare organisations. Viewpoints concerning leadership are then discussed and asserted. Findings - This paper found a limited implementation of standards such as Green Public Procurement criteria, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and ISO 14001 in public healthcare. Some clues indicate that the lack of implementation is related to leadership and management commitment. Originality/value - For the first time, this paper investigates relationships between leadership and environmental sustainability in European public healthcare opening further avenues of research on the subject.
Tella, Seppo; Tirri, Kirsi
The purpose of this document is to analyze some of the major developments and research findings of the European Observatory of Innovations in Education and Training (1994-1998). The Observatory was a consortium of 13 member countries of the European Union serving as a European network of researchers and educators in the field of comparative…
Jańıček, František; Jedinák, Martin; Šulc, Igor
Transmission system in Slovakia is part of a synchronously interconnected system of continental Europe. Besides indisputable technical and economical benefits of cooperation many hazardous factors exist of fault condition spreading with impact on our system. Even today a system break-up escalated into a vast blackout is a real danger. European transmission system operators continually work on preventive measures and develop systems with a goal to handle critical situations. The ambition of the European Awareness System is to signalize the rise of these situations and also assist with system restoration
Burt, W.V.; Peters, D.J.
This is a monthly publication presenting brief articles concerning recent developments in European Scientific Research. It is hoped that these articles (which do not constitute part of the scientific literature) may prove of value to American scientists by calling attention to current development and to institutions and individuals engaged in these scientific efforts. The articles are written primarily by members of the staff of ORNL and occasionally articles are prepared by, or in cooperation with, members of the scientific staffs of the United States Air Force's European Office of Aerospace Research and Development and the United States ARmy Research and Standardization Group. Articles are also contributed by visiting Stateside scientists.
AD-A31 850 EUROPEAN SlN11I NOTE VOUM 37 NUMBRbU OFIC 1/ OF NAVAL RESEARCH LONDON (ENGLAND) D MOSHER ET AL. 30 JUN 83 ESN-37-6 UNLASSIFIED F/G 5/2 NIL... RESEARCH LONDON EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES ESN 37-6 30 JUNE 1983 V OF Distributed by the Office of Naval Research Branch Office. C This document is issued...PROJECT TASK US Office of Naval Research , Branch Office London Box 39 FPO NY 09510 II. CONTROLLING OFFICE NAME AND ADDRESS 12. REPORT DATE 30 aune
OVER THE LAST FEW years, the idea of a “European Research Area” (ERA) has gained strong support among science policy makers and, increasingly, among scientists themselves. The goal of the ERA is to establish a single “market” for research on our continent, allowing for better co-ordination of research efforts, synergies between projects, the achievement of “critical mass” (both human and financial) and thus to strengthen the competitiveness of European research. These goals necessitate deep structural changes in the way science is organised, breaking up existing borderlines and barriers between national research systems in Europe.
Molodtsov, S. L.
The currently constructed European X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) will generate new knowledge in almost all the technical and scientific disciplines that are shaping our daily life-including nanotechnology, medicine, pharmaceutics, chemistry, materials science, power engineering and electronics. On 8 January 2009, civil engineering work (tunnels, shafts, halls) has been started at all three construction sites. In this presentation status and parameters of the European XFEL facility and instrumentation as well as planned research applications particularly in the range of soft X-rays are reviewed.
Shaffer, L. E.
ESN is a monthly publication with brief articles on recent developments in European scientific research. Its partial contents are: Biotechnology Research at GBF, and at the Inst. of Technical Chemistry, Univ. of Hanover, West Germany; 7th European Immunology Congress; Biotechnia '85 - First International Congress for Biotechnology; Acoustic Cavitation Generated by Clinical Ultrasound; Advances in Chemical Reaction Dynamics; Geophysics Research in Israel; Fiber Composite Research at Paisley College of Technology, Scotland; A review of International Research on the Physical Metallurgy of Welding; Silicon Metallurgy at the Helsinki Technical Univ.; A Conference on Guided Optical Structures and Their Applications; Optoelectronics Research at Oxford Univ.; and Fractal Conferences in Europe.
In an earlier paper we proposed, on the basis of mitochondrial control region variation, that the bulk of modern European mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) diversity had its roots in the European Upper Palaeolithic. Refining the mtDNA phylogeny and enlarging the sample size both within Europe and the Middle East still support this interpretation and indicate three separate phases of colonization: (i) the Early Upper Palaeolithic about 50,000 BP; (ii) the Late Upper Palaeolithic 11,000-14,000 BP; and (iii) the Neolithic from 8500 BP. PMID:10091253
Calvete Oliva, Antonio
This study is aimed at providing information concerning the provisions adopted by the European Union on both a compulsory and non-compulsory basis for its member States related in one way or another to the fight against smoking. To this end, a review is made of all of the provisions published in the Official Journal of the European Union as of the first published in 1986 up to March 2005, commenting upon the aspects of each provision having to do with the subject stated above.
Bender, Stefan; Elias, P
The article examines the impact that legislative developments in the European Union have had, still have and are continuing to have on cross-border access to microdata for research purposes. Therefore, we describe two competing aims: the tension between the ambitions of the EU to create a European Research Area within which research communities gain access to and share data across national boundaries; and the desire within the EU to establish a harmonious legislative framework that provides protection from the misuse of personal information. We attempt to examine which new developments at the EU level will have an impact upon research plans and the challenges researchers face when analysing big data.
Tamai, R.; Spyromilio, J.
The European Extremely Large Telescope is a project of the European Southern Observatory to build and operate a 40-m class optical near-infrared telescope. The telescope design effort is largely concluded and construction contracts are being placed with industry and academic/research institutes for the various components. The siting of the telescope in Northern Chile close to the Paranal site allows for an integrated operation of the facility providing significant economies. The progress of the project in various areas is presented in this paper and references to other papers at this SPIE meeting are made.
a variety of aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and the Transall C- 160. The A400M range is 3300 Kilometer (1782 miles) and has a...20Declaration%20Text.html, (accessed 27 December 2008). 9 Gustav Lindstrom , Enter the EU Battlegroups, (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, Chaillot Paper no...Gustav Lindstrom , 9-15. 12 Ibid, 17. 13 Western European Union Council of Ministers, “Petersberg Declaration,” Bonn, 19 June 1992. 6, para 4. 14 European
Recent legislative initiatives in West Germany and other European countries are leading to more stringent automobile exhaust emission standards. A review of the emission inventory on a global and West German basis and other factors, such as acid rain and forest damage, indicate that the contribution of automobile exhaust to the emission problem may be less than the European public assumes. As an interim step while new standards are being considered, the West German government is promoting the purchase of low-pollution vehicles through a vehicle tax reduction program.
New regulations reorganising pharmacovigilance at the European level were adopted in late 2010, then revised in 2012 in the wake of the Mediator (benfluorex) disaster. The European Commission's original proposals, released in 2008, would have represented a major step backwards in the protection afforded to European citizens, in particular by facilitating earlier marketing authorisations. Thanks to the mobilisation of civil society, the Members of the European Parliament have improved these proposals, supported by EU health ministers. The role of the new European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has been strengthened. Patients in every Member State have the right to report adverse drug effects directly to health authorities. EU drug regulatory agencies are required to provide greater transparency, and public access to information about adverse effects has been improved. However, one major regression persists: the central role given to pharmaceutical companies in the collection and interpretation of reports of adverse drug effects, despite their conflicts of interest. Drug companies are asked to record the adverse effect reports of which they are aware in a vast European centralised database, Eudravigilance, without going through drug regulatory agencies. Pharmaceutical companies remain responsible for producing "a scientific evaluation of the risk-benefit balance" of their drug, as part of the periodic benefit-risk assessment reports they are required to submit to drug regulatory agencies. These reports are analysed for the entire EU by two Member States (one rapporteur and one co-rapporteur), so that harmonised decisions can be taken. But these decisions are based on data preanalysed by the drug companies. In addition, the independence of the European Medicines Agency is undermined by its financial reliance on the fees paid by pharmaceutical companies in exchange for these assessments. In 2012, following France's Mediator disaster, several modest
The Federative Republic of Brazil has yesterday signed the formal accession agreement paving the way for it to become a Member State of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Following government ratification Brazil will become the fifteenth Member State and the first from outside Europe. On 29 December 2010, at a ceremony in Brasilia, the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende and the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw signed the formal accession agreement aiming to make Brazil a Member State of the European Southern Observatory. Brazil will become the fifteen Member State and the first from outside Europe. Since the agreement means accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Brazilian Parliament for ratification . The signing of the agreement followed the unanimous approval by the ESO Council during an extraordinary meeting on 21 December 2010. "Joining ESO will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil as part of the considerable efforts our government is making to keep the country advancing in these strategic areas," says Rezende. The European Southern Observatory has a long history of successful involvement with South America, ever since Chile was selected as the best site for its observatories in 1963. Until now, however, no non-European country has joined ESO as a Member State. "The membership of Brazil will give the vibrant Brazilian astronomical community full access to the most productive observatory in the world and open up opportunities for Brazilian high-tech industry to contribute to the European Extremely Large Telescope project. It will also bring new resources and skills to the organisation at the right time for them to make a major contribution to this exciting project," adds ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) telescope design phase was recently completed and a major review was
Garrett, Caroline, Ed.
Proving the efficacy of Hawaii's Poets-in-the-Schools program, this collection of descriptive statements by some of Hawaii's leading poets and teachers of poetry, and accompanied by illustrative poems produced by classroom pupils, describes the theories that were generally accepted as a working basis and the related methods each writer used in the…
Pita, Cristina; Dickey, Heather; Pierce, Graham J.; Mente, Elena; Theodossiou, Ioannis
The global trend of fisheries overexploitation and collapse has resulted in the need to reduce fishing effort, and providing alternative employment for fishermen is a frequently mentioned policy option in order to achieve this goal. Reducing fishing effort is central to the European Commission Common Fisheries Policy and over the years, the…
A required core contemporary history course is proposed for Europe's senior pupils, needed because of prospects for European integration. The course could be shaped by pairing three fundamental ideas with related conflicts: Reformation/30 Years War, Enlightenment/French Revolution and Napoleanic Wars, and Nationalism/World Wars I and II. (IAH)
Hodge, Carleton T.
Outlines factors to consider regarding movements of peoples and cultural change, including the thousands of years between the departure of Indo-Europeans from the Near East and their arrival in localities where we find them, and their movements in the second millenium. Available from: Anthropological Linguistics, Dr. Florence Voegelin, Dept. of…
Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul
In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, the literature is reviewed to examine (a) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU nonindustrial vision of agriculture, and (b) given its insufficient land base, the implications of a proposed bioenergy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU…
The Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first man in orbit, the American Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon, on 21 July, 1969. Is there a chance that the first human being to set foot on Mars will be a European? Attendants at the 1999 Alpbach Summer School will be putting their minds to this challenging question. Seventy-four students from member states of the European Space Agency will be attending the Summer School from 3 to 12 August in the small mountain village of Alpbach in the Austrian Tyrol. They will be set the task of defining a future Mars Exploration Mission. 25 European experts will provide them with an overview of all aspects of the Red Planet. Basic questions such as the chemical and mineralogical composition of its surface, its geophysics and geochemistry or the search for life on Mars will be addressed. A review of past, present and future exploration of Mars will be presented. The annual Summer School is co-organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Transport, the European Space Agency and the Austrian Space Agency. ESA's Director of Science, Prof. Roger Bonnet, will open this year's at 9 a.m. on 3 August, in Alpbach Secondary School with a lecture on "Mars Exploration: For What Purpose? How?" Media representatives are most welcome.
The future's bright! The European Young Chemist Award for 2014 was awarded at the 5th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Instanbul. Impressions and reflections from the Convener of the event, Professor Bruno Pignataro, are given in the Guest Editorial.
Doherty, Noeleen; Dickmann, Michael; Mills, Timothy
Purpose: The paper seeks to explore the career attitudes, motivations and behaviours of young people in initial vocational education and training (IVET) in Europe. Design/methodology/approach: This exploratory web-based survey was conducted during the European year for mobility. Drawing on existing research on the motivators of international…
Smith, John H.
Universities are placed strategically at the interplay of research and technological development, educational and regional development policies at both national and European level. Universities are also unique environments in which interdisciplinary skills are being developed to tackle the complex challenges facing human, social and economic…
Mattheier, Klaus J.
The thoughts on a language history within a European context sketched out here represent an attempt to extend the concepts of regional and particularly national language history by adding a third dimension: transnational language history in Europe. After a few general thoughts on the extended area of research, in which so-called external language…
Currie, W J
Within the European Community (EC) countries the national pharmaceutical regulatory systems work with varying degrees of efficiency and scientific sophistication. At the Community level the objective of mutual recognition has failed to be realized. To achieve for one registration application within the EC, timely and simultaneous marketing approvals throughout the member states will require changes to the present regulatory procedures or the single market concept for pharmaceuticals will not be realized. To have the greatest chances for success we should move cautiously, identifying and correcting deficiencies in the present procedures, which are known from experience, rather than abandoning such hard won knowledge for a new system with all its attendant potential unknowns and uncertainty. The free movement of drugs within the Internal European market will be a reality. The question remaining is at what price will it be achieved? It is vital to the European economy and consumer, as well as to the innovative pharmaceutical industry, that Europe does not exchange its present competitive edge in the time to develop and register new drugs for a costly drug lag. The experiment must equally succeed as a torch showing the way forward not only for an enlarging European Community, but also to the ever increasing interest in global harmonization of drug regulation.
Countries in Europe, through the European Union, are creating, as part of the market and its governance, a new policy space in education. It is being formed through law, regulation, networking and harmonization. The development of standards across the different fields of policy, statistical calculation and commerce underpins and extends the…
Bonsang, Eric; van Soest, Arthur
This paper analyses the determinants of an important component of well-being among individuals aged 50 years or older in eleven European countries: satisfaction with social contacts. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and anchoring vignettes to correct for potential differences in responses scales across…
Hank, Karsten; Erlinghagen, Marcel
Purpose: To investigate the dynamics of volunteering in the population aged 50 years or older across 11 Continental European countries. Design and Methods: Using longitudinal data from the first 2 waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we run multivariate regressions on a set of binary-dependent variables indicating…
Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium). Directorate-General for Education, Training, and Youth.
This publication provides glimpses of how different individuals and organizations have responded to the spirit of lifelong learning during the European Year. Each case study consists of the project's location, name, and objective and brief description. They include the following: Chapito Project, Lisbon, Portugal; Ligerius Project, a…
Norwegian Blind Organization, Oslo.
Presented are seven papers given at a 1973 conference on European braille by the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind. Arne Husveg sees braille as a continuing indispensable aid and recommends legislation giving the blind the right to free instruction and materials. The use of special braille systems of mathematical, physical, and chemical…
Commission des Communautes Europeennes (Luxembourg).
The monograph contains a report on developments and trends in special education within the European community and a selection of the principal papers of a conference on special education in Europe. Chapter 1 contains results of a comparative study presented tabularly and narratively covering all handicaps in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France,…
Commission des Communautes Europeennes (Luxembourg).
Nearly one-third of the European Community population of 320 million is involved daily with some form of education. The Community Education Action Programme celebrated its tenth anniversary in February 1986. The initial thrust was to increase mutual understanding and promote closer relations between the different education systems of member…
In principle, there are three defined procedures to obtain approval for a medicinal product in the European Union. As discussed in this overview of the procedures, the decision on which regulatory pathway to use will depend on the nature of the active substance, the target indication(s), the history of product and/or the marketing strategy.
Two pilot programs designed to improve and maintain quality in European higher education are described and compared: an audit of universities' procedures for quality assurance; and an assessment of programs of study, including teaching and learning, student characteristics, staff, facilities, and quality management. Both include institutional…
Horneck, Gerda; Walter, Nicolas; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa
The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system.
All the countries of the United Kingdom have something to learn from nations facing comparable challenges elsewhere in Europe. Seeing these challenges through a European lens can help these countries understand them and their selves better. The author thinks they need to join in solidarity with adult educators across Europe and, indeed, further…
This article reports the findings of a PhD study, which offers comparative perspectives on teacher education in a period of reforms, inquiring into stakeholders' perceptions in English, French, Italian and Spanish contexts as case studies. The interaction of needs and constraints in European initial teacher education within higher education…
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) was introduced in 2008 as a "meta-framework" or common reference point for national qualifications frameworks in Europe, a function for which, with some caveats, it has been pragmatically successful. It has also been used with variable success to support the development or referencing of…
Bentall, R. H.
The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) is sponsoring the development of a number of critical spacecraft hardware items. The hardware under development includes two competing solar paddle drives which are being produced to similar specifications. Three mechanisms of each type are being produced and will undergo thermal vacuum testing. All mechanisms have lead lubricated bearings.
López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara
In this work we look for geographical structure patterns in European raptors (Order: Falconiformes) and owls (Order: Strigiformes). For this purpose we have conducted our research using freely available tools such as statistical software and databases. To perform the study, presence-absence data for the European raptors and owl species (Class Aves) were downloaded from the BirdLife International website. Using the freely available "pvclust" R-package, we applied similarity Jaccard index and cluster analysis in order to delineate biogeographical relationships for European countries. According to the cluster of similarity, we found that Europe is structured into two main geographical assemblages. The larger length branch separated two main groups: one containing Iceland, Greenland and the countries of central, northern and northwestern Europe, and the other group including the countries of eastern, southern and southwestern Europe. Both groups are divided into two main subgroups. According to our results, the European raptors and owls could be considered structured into four meta-communities well delimited by suture zones defined by Remington (1968) [Remington, C.L., 1968. Suture-zones of hybrid interaction between recently joined biotas. Evol. Biol. 2, 321-428]. Climatic oscillations during the Quaternary Ice Ages could explain at least in part the modern geographical distribution of the group.
Vivas, Amparo Jimenez; Hevia, David Menendez Alvarez
The constant assessment of the quality of higher education within the framework of European convergence is a challenge for all those universities that wish their degrees and diplomas to reflect a unified Europe. As is the case in any assessment, change and review process, the quest to improve quality implies measuring achievement of the objectives…
Howe, Shirley Ann
The history and traditional ways of the Micmac Indians prior to the 17th century are discussed. During this era, the Micmac Indians had a sociopolitical system which provided political, social, economic, cultural and educational structures which surprised the early Europeans. (NQ)
London. ESN 38-7 (1984) NATO Establishes Special Program Panel on Sensory Systems for Robotic Control ............................ J.F. Blackburn 365...technical information about sensing technology- and machine intelligence in robots . S Parallel Processing at the University of Amsterdam ....... J.F...Rozzell 407 Robot Census: Too Many Manufacturers .................. Larry E. Shaffer 408 Stage Set for European Standards for Biomaterials ..... Thomas
van der Linden, F P; Schmiedel, W J; Bijlstra, R J
After clarifying the role and significance of the European Federations of Orthodontic Specialists Associations (EFOSA), the results of a recent survey on the situation of the Speciality of Orthodontics in Europe are presented. Among the many items included are the recognition and availability of orthodontic specialists, their training, their working conditions, the height of the charged fees and the present insurance and refunding systems.
asked and answered prior to starting the viduelle du Niveau de Developpement procedure. The procedure was then car- Operatoire et ses Implications ried...European * questions had been answered, countries, including three Eastern bloc The Flammer work suggests a new nations as well as North America and
Conventional swimming pools have been built with the needs of competitive swimmers in mind. Planners in several European countries have greatly increased swimming pool attendance by designing "leisure pools," based primarily on the needs and behavior of recreationists. Design of these pools and their equipment requirements are discussed.…
King, Lindsay M.; Clement, Russell T.
Western European art foundations create invaluable opportunities for research and exhibition by artists, curators, and scholars. These activities are often documented and disseminated via high-quality publications. This article highlights an important but under-recognized collecting resource for academic and museum libraries by profiling several…
Macha, Hildegard; Bauer, Quirin J.
In this article, the authors show the perspective on women's leadership in Europe. The authors present the European data on the educational status of girls and women at schools and universities and in academic careers. Data from Germany is presented as an example to provide evidence of some details. First, the authors point out four contradictions…
prevention deals with measures ized because of an accident . His private taken by those with no diagnosis estab- physician addressed the assembly...could lead to test satellite (OTS) from CERN (Conseil commercial products. Wide area communi- European pour La Recherche Nucleaire , cations under
An overview is presented of Eutelsat, which was created in 1977 by 17 European telecommunications operators to provide mobile and fixed satellite communication services to the entire continent. The eight Eutelsat satellites now in orbit are utilized for telephony and business services, for direct-to-home broadcasting, for the distribution and exchange of radio and television programs, and for land mobile services.
Kempton, Willett; Craig, Paul P.
Explores why some European countries are much more eager than the United States to endorse international environmental treaties and the roles history, culture, economics, and geography play. Influential policymakers throughout Austria, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are interviewed. (12 references) (Author/MCO)
Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, 2012
Education and training issues are similar across Europe, but how can we ensure we mean the same things with the same terms? The new format of the European training thesaurus (ETT) is a multilingual synopsis. It is an online tool enabling those working in education, training and employment to have a common understanding of terms. It helps…
Even if convergences are to be observed among the orientations adopted by higher education policies in European countries, they still are characterized by strong national features. One of the most striking national patterns of each system is its academic labor market, salaries, status, recruitment procedures, workloads, career patterns, promotion…
The European Society for Clinical Virology annual winter meeting mainly appeals to clinical virologists interested in human disease. Basic and clinical data were presented, highlighting a number of interesting findings. This report briefly describes options in HIV antiviral treatment, and focuses on fusion inhibitors, a new anti-HIV class of drugs. Recent improvements in experimental DNA vaccines are also presented.
Horneck, Gerda; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F.; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R.; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa
Abstract The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems• Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space• Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life• Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability• Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system. Key Words: Astrobiology roadmap—Europe—Origin and evolution of life—Habitability—Life detection—Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 201–243. PMID:27003862
Field, John, Ed.
This collection of 19 essays shares the lessons of a wealth of experience and challenges professionals to open up adult learning to a variety of international perspectives. The first essay, "Building a European Dimension: A Realistic Response to Globalization?" (John Field), is an introduction to the essays. The six essays in Section I,…
From a European perspective, this paper focuses on a set of issues affecting the emerging information economy. Among the issues covered are: developing a means of measuring the value of information and knowledge; studying other institutions such as the United States Department of Defense and the United States venture capital industry which are…
total E and H variants) Turkish Air Force C-130E flying over Hirfanli Dam Lake in November 2009. General Aircraft Data Wingspan...That Weight: Improving European Strategic Airlift Capabilities (Unpublished Doctoral degree in Public Policy Analysis) Pardee RAND Graduate School
Coulby, David; Jones, Crispin
Describes the "Enlightenment program" (often equated with modernity) and postmodernist criticisms of Enlightenment thought. Discusses the notions of Europe and Europeans as reflecting social inclusion/exclusion as much as geography. Examines the relevance of postmodernist theories to school and university knowledge systems, highlighting…
Burke, R.W.; Schoenecke, P.L.
European practice and attitude toward maintenance have been reviewed and discussed face-to-face. Important but sometimes subtle differences with the US situation appear. Among the more obvious differences is the more cooperative relationship between the industry and the government.
Whelan, Christopher T.; Maitre, Bertrand
In this paper we seek to put Irish poverty rates in a comparative European context. We do so in a context whereby the Irish economic boom and EU enlargement have led to increasing reservations being expressed regarding rates deriving from the EU "at risk of poverty" indicator. Our comparative analysis reports findings for both overall…
Garrido, Jose Luis Garcia
Discusses problems facing European education as the world continues to become more interconnected through politics, communication, and economics. Stresses the need to maintain national values without regressing to nationalism. Examines teacher training, history instruction, and television as areas where divisions can be lessened. Warns against…
Blok, Henk; Karsten, Sjoerd
In many European countries and in North America, home education is a viable alternative for education at school. Parents who want to home school their child are legally allowed to do so, although some countries impose rather strict conditions. This article concentrates on the way authorities supervise or inspect the quality of home education. A…
The spatial context is critical when assessing present-day climate anomalies, attributing them to potential forcings and making statements regarding their frequency and severity in a long-term perspective. Recent international initiatives have expanded the number of high-quality proxy-records and developed new statistical reconstruction methods. These advances allow more rigorous regional past temperature reconstructions and, in turn, the possibility of evaluating climate models on policy-relevant, spatio-temporal scales. Here we provide a new proxy-based, annually-resolved, spatial reconstruction of the European summer (June-August) temperature fields back to 755 CE based on Bayesian hierarchical modelling (BHM), together with estimates of the European mean temperature variation since 138 BCE based on BHM and composite-plus-scaling (CPS). Our reconstructions compare well with independent instrumental and proxy-based temperature estimates, but suggest a larger amplitude in summer temperature variability than previously reported. Both CPS and BHM reconstructions indicate that the mean 20th century European summer temperature was not significantly different from some earlier centuries, including the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 10th centuries CE. The 1st century (in BHM also the 10th century) may even have been slightly warmer than the 20th century, but the difference is not statistically significant. Comparing each 50 yr period with the 1951-2000 period reveals a similar pattern. Recent summers, however, have been unusually warm in the context of the last two millennia and there are no 30-yr periods in either reconstruction that exceed the mean average European summer temperature of the last 3 decades (1986-2015 CE). A comparison with an ensemble of climate model simulations suggests that the reconstructed European summer temperature variability over the period 850-2000 CE reflects changes in both internal variability and external forcing on multi-decadal time-scales. For pan-European
Olsson, Silas; Lymberis, Andreas; Whitehouse, Diane
Health-care is an information-intensive and knowledge-demanding sector, which is why eHealth solutions are so important in this field. The European Commission (EC) has been initiating and funding research and development activities regarding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for health, or "eHealth", since 1988. These programmes covered priority topics like electronic health-care records, regional and national health networks, telemedicine in homecare and care-at-the-point-of-need to support continuity of care concepts, systems to support people to stay healthy, and systems and tools to support health professionals to work more efficiently and safely on patients. During the 15-year span of the programmes, the European Union (EU) has contributed about 500 million Euro to approximately 400 R&D projects, support activities, best practice and studies covering technical, clinical, ethical, legal, organisational and market issues. eHealth has shown proven benefits in application fields like improved access to care, care at the point-of-need, citizen-centred care, improved quality and cost containment. Such applications were on show at the EU High Level eHealth Conferences in Brussels, Belgium, in 2003, and in Cork, Ireland, in 2004. eHealth is now on the governmental agenda of EU Member States to be implemented on a broader scale. In line with this development, the Commission has taken a number of policy initiatives. A European Union Action Plan for a European eHealth Area was published by the Commission in April 2004 and endorsed by the EU health ministers in June 2004. This means that, for the first time, Europe has a coherent agenda for the implementation of eHealth. This report will concentrate on eHealth activities initiated by the Information Society Directorate-General of the European Commission.
Koch, E.; Adler, S.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.
Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies as one has to address many network operators to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2009 the COST-action 725 established a European wide data set of phenological observations. But the deliverables of this COST action was not only the common phenological database and common observation guidelines - COST725 helped to trigger a revival of some old networks and to establish new ones as for instance in Sweden. At the end of 2009 the COST action the database comprised about 8 million data in total from 15 European countries plus the data from the International Phenological Gardens IPG. In January 2010 PEP725 began its work as follow up project with funding from EUMETNET the network of European meteorological services and of ZAMG the Austrian national meteorological service. PEP725 not only will take over the part of maintaining, updating the COST725 database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of vegetation development.
Vymetal, Stepan; Deistler, Albert; Bering, Robert; Schedlich, Claudia; Rooze, Magda; Orengo, Francisco; Zurek, Gisela; Krtickova, Michaela
After disasters, the individual health and well-being of first responders and affected population are affected for years. Therefore, psychosocial help is needed. Although most victims recover on their own, a minority of survivors, members of rescue teams, or relatives develop long-term, disaster-related psychic disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This subgroup especially should receive timely and appropriate psychosocial help. Many European countries offer post-disaster psychosocial care from a variety of caregivers (i.e., professionals and volunteers, non-governmental organizations, church or commercial organizations). Therefore, European standards for providing post-disaster psychosocial support currently is required. This article describes the project European Guideline for Target Group-Oriented Psychosocial Aftercare-Implementation, supported by the European Commission.
Gives a brief review of Greece's current vocational education/training system, compares it to European models, describes the European Community process of harmonization of vocational qualifications, and discusses new legislation establishing a national vocational education/training system. (SK)
The National Cardiac Societies are one of the Constituent Bodies of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). They are the backbone of the ESC and together form the "Cardiology of Europe" in 56 European and Mediterranean countries.
... Chicago, Hermitage and Damen Aves., Chicago, 09000459, LISTED, 12/08/09 (Ethnic (European) Historic..., LISTED, 12/08/09 Mason County S.S. BADGER (carferry), 700 S. William St., Ludington, 09000679, LISTED,...
Frölich, K; Haerer, G; Bacciarini, L; Janovsky, M; Rudolph, M; Giacometti, M
From 1997 to 2000, complete necropsy and histopathologic investigations were performed on 157 free-ranging European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) found dead throughout Switzerland. Organ samples of all these individuals (157 livers and 107 spleens available) were tested for European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV)-antigen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. Furthermore, 60 additional blood samples were tested for antibodies against EBHSV by ELISA. In addition, liver samples of 87 free-ranging mountain hares (Lepus timidus) hunted in 1996 were tested for EBHSV-antigen. In two European brown hares from southern Switzerland lesions suggestive of changes induced by EBHSV were present, and high titers of EBHSV-antigen were detected in both liver and spleen samples of these animals. Based on negative staining electron microscopy investigations of liver and spleen homogenates, we observed calicivirus in one antigen-positive hare. Low EBHSV-antigen titers were found in three additional European brown hares from central and western Switzerland, but EBHS-lesions were absent. Antibodies against EBHSV were not detected in any of the sera of European brown hares, and EBHSV-antigen was not found in the samples of mountain hares. This is the first report of EBHS in European brown hares from Switzerland.
This spring, teachers across Europe will enjoy support for exciting, novel educational projects on astronomy, navigation and environmental observations. The largely web-based and highly interactive SEA & SPACE programme makes it possible for pupils to perform field experiments and astronomical observations and to obtain and process satellite images. A contest will take the best pupils for one week to Lisbon (Portugal), to Europe's space port in Kourou (French Guyana) where the European launcher lifts off or to ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Cerro Paranal Observatory in Chile, the largest optical telescope in the world. The SEA & SPACE project is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) , the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). It builds on these organisations' several years' successful participation in the European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture organised by the European Commission that they intend to continue in 1998. The 1998 World Exhibition EXPO98 in Lisbon will focus on the oceans. This is why the umbrella theme of SEA & SPACE is concerned with the many relations between the oceans and the space that surrounds us, from ancient times to present days. Under the new programme, teaching resources are offered for three major areas, Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment, Navigation and Oceans of Water. Remote Sensing of Europe's Coastal Environment : observations of the Earth from Space are made accessible to pupils who will appreciate their usefulness through interactive image processing and field observations; Navigation : the capabilities and functioning of different navigation techniques are explored through experiments using navigation by the stars, with GPS, and via satellite images/maps; Oceans of Water : What is the role of water in Nature? How can one detect water from satellites or with telescopes? How much water is there in rivers and floods, in an ocean
Zanella, A.; Englisch, M.; Ponge, J.-F.; Jabiol, B.; Sartori, G.; Gardi, C.
From 2003 on, a panel of experts in humus and humus dynamics (Humus group) has been working about a standardisation and improvement of existing national humus classifications. Some important goals have been reached, in order to share data and experiences: a) definition of specific terms; b) description of 15 types of diagnostic horizons; c) of 10 basic humus forms references; d) subdivision of each main reference in 2-4 sub-unities; e) elaboration of a general European Humus Form Reference Base (http://hal-agroparistech.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/17/95/PDF/Humus_Forms_ERB_31_01_2011.pdf); f) publication of the scientific significance of this base of classification as an article [A European morpho-functional classification of humus forms. Geoderma, 164 (3-4), 138-145]. The classification will be updated every 2 years and presently the Humus group is assessing biological (general: soil, vegetation, biome; specific: fungi, bacteria, pedofauna), physical (air temperature, rainfall) and chemical (pH, mineral elements, organic matter, quality and quantity of humic components…) factors which characterize basic humus forms and their varieties. The content of the new version of the classification is planned to be more "practical", like an ecological manual which lists associated humus forms and environmental data in the aim to contribute to a more precise environmental diagnosis of every analysed terrestrial and semiterrestrial European ecosystem. The Humus group is also involved in an endeavour to include humus forms in the World Reference Base for Soils (WRB-FAO) according to nomenclatural principles erected for soil profiles. Thirty basic references have been defined, complemented by a set of qualifiers (prefixes and suffixes), allowing to classify European humus forms and probably a large majority of humus forms known worldwide. The principles of the classification, the diagnostic horizons and humus forms main references are presented at the General Assembly of
The enhancement of the European dimension in the national curriculum is a large scale educational innovation that affects many European countries. This report puts forward the proposition that broad scale educational innovation has more success if the aims and objectives find their way into textbooks. The reasons why a European dimension in…
Mehaut, Philippe; Winch, Christopher
The European Qualification Framework (EQF) is intended to transform European national qualification frameworks (NQFs) by moulding them into a learning outcomes framework. Currently adopted as an enabling law by the European Union, the EQF has now operated for several years. In order to secure widespread adoption, however, it will be necessary for…
This paper situates languages in the framework of European construction, analyzing problems resulting from the definition of languages' official status in the European Union (EU) juridical system. It explains that the process of European construction is historically defined by means of two distinct features (it is an open process, and at the same…
Lasonen, Lahja Johanna
Although commitment to equal opportunities in employment has been a major component of European Community legislation and although increasing numbers of European women are entering professions, women throughout Europe still face many barriers to advancing in their professions. Since the early 1970s, European governments including Finland have…
Examines how the European Convention on Human Rights and its case law could combat sexist education and develop concepts of philosophical convictions, the European Community's duty, and children's rights. Considers feminist strategies for improving girls' education, English and European procedural laws, and difficulties of using English law. (RLC)
The open method of coordination (OMC) within the Lisbon strategy is discussed in terms of a European Space for Education and "programme ontology". The focus is on indicators and the European dimension, and how they "work" in the forming of contents and identities in this European Space for Education. The OMC is analyzed in…
Bates, A. W.
This paper looks at the possible roles that the European Economic Community (EEC), as a pan-European quasi-governmental institution, might play in the management and organization of a European educational satellite system. The argument is made that there is a need for the EEC Commission to play an ongoing, regulatory role in this area. An…
This article examines the politics of policies promoting multilingualism in the European Union (EU), specifically in light of the recently released European Union Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism. As the most far-reaching and ambitious policy document issued by the European Commission, the Platform warrants close scrutiny at a significant…
When it comes to building European public action, expertise is ubiquitous and polymorphic. This article intends to study the ways expertise is being used in the European Commission and the logics underlying its use. The massive use of expertise also has consequences for the practices and identities of actors with whom European institutions…
Thery, Michel; Roussel, Patrick; Zygmunt, Christian
Comparison of company practices regarding continuing training of employees shows great diversity among the 15 European Union member states. In 11 countries, over 70 percent of companies are "training involved" (TICs). South European countries have a low percentage of TICs; the proportion of TICs in north European countries is over 80…
Examines topics and issues related to training engineers of joint programs for the European aerospace industry. Forms of cooperation, European educational systems, and skills needed to successfully work as an engineer in a joint program for the European aircraft industry are the major areas addressed. (JN)
Markowitsch, Jorg; Luomi-Messerer, Karin; Becker, Matthias; Spottl, Georg
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to look closely at the development of a European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). The European Commission, together with the member States, are working on it and several pilot projects have been initiated within the Leonardo da Vinci Programme of the European Commission.…
This paper reports on a European project, the Comenius ECLIPSE project (European Citizenship Learning in a Programme for Secondary Education) developed by six European partners coordinated by the University of Trento in the years 2011-2014. ECLIPSE (co-financed by the EACEA--Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) aims at developing,…
Curricular reform in any educational system should be to balance national, European or international elements and should integrate diversity. European education calls for a democratic citizenship education that includes a political, cultural, social and economic education--an overall European dimension, which implies an awareness of the drive and…
Axelrod, Regina S.
Presents the energy and environmental policymaking strategies of the European Community to regulate the consumption of energy. Strategies include the stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions, the creation of the European Environmental Agency, the implementation of the European Energy Charter, the SAVE Program, and economic and fiscal instruments…
Daly, E. J.; Hilgers, A.
Spacecraft and payloads have become steadily more sophisticated and therefore more susceptible to space weather effects. ESA has long been active in applying models and tools to the problems associated with such effects on its spacecraft. In parallel, ESA and European agencies have built a highly successful solar-terrestrial physics capability. ESA is now investigating the marriage of these technological and scientific capabilities to address perceived user needs for space weather products and services. Two major ESA-sponsored studies are laying the groundwork for a possible operational European space weather service. The wide-ranging activities of ESA in the Space Weather/Space Environment domain are summarized and recent important examples of space weather concerns given.
Wiszniewiecka, Monika; Cejrowski, Daniel; Sein Anand, Jacek
Since 2014 we are heading the third programming period of help from European Union (EU). The new budget will run until 2020. From common resources of EU, 106 billion euro will reach Poland, of which about 82.3 billion to cohesion policy, levelling differences of regional development. Clinical toxicology centres will be able to apply for funding under the allocation for the health service. Polish health service very actively benefited from EU funds in previous programming periods, between 2004-2006, and 2007-2013. Thanks to grants from the EU, a large number of health centres were built or renovated. Unfortunately the needs of hospitals, which were underinvested for many years, exceeded available funds according to UE programmes. Except investment projects, also projects training of health professionals were executed. In the current programming period European Union will still support projects aimed at health service. Clinical toxicology centres should have a try of using this period to fulfil their plans.
Reise, Karsten; Olenin, Sergej; Thieltges, David W.
Inshore waters of European coasts have accumulated a high share of non-indigenous species, where a changeable palaeoenvironment has caused low diversity in indigenous biota. Also strongly transformed modern coastal ecosystems seem to assimilate whatever species have been introduced and tolerate the physical regime. Adding non-native species does not have any directional predetermined effects on recipient coastal ecosystems. The status of being a non-native rather refers to a position in evolutionary history than qualify as an ecological category with distinct and consistent properties. Effects of invaders vary between habitats and with the phase of invasion and also with shifting ambient conditions. Although aliens accelerate change in European coastal biota, we found no evidence that they generally impair biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. More often, invaders expand ecosystem functioning by adding new ecological traits, intensifying existing ones and increasing functional redundancy.
Varino, Filipa; Baptiste Granier, Jean; Bordoy, Roger; Arbogast, Philippe; Joly, Bruno; Riviere, Gwendal; Fandeur, Marie-Laure; Bovy, Henry; Mitchell-Wallace, Kirsten; Souch, Claire
The probability of multiple wind-storm events within a year is crucial to any (re)insurance company writing European wind business. Indeed, the volatility of losses is enhanced by the clustering of storms (cyclone families), as occurred in early 1990 (Daria, Vivian, Wiebke), December 1999 (Lothar, Martin) or December 2015 (Desmond, Eva, Frank), among others. In order to track winter extratropical cyclones, we use the maximum relative vorticity at 850 hPa of the new-released long-term ERA-20C reanalysis from the ECMWF since the beginning of the 20th Century until 2010. We develop an automatic procedure to define events. We then quantify the severity of each storm using loss and meteorological indices at country and Europe-wide level. Validation against market losses for the period 1970-2010 is undertaken before considering the severity and frequency of European windstorms for the 110 years period.
Boeynaems, Jean-Marie; Canivet, Cindy; Chan, Anthony; Clarke, Mary J.; Cornu, Catherine; Daemen, Esther; Demotes, Jacques; Nys, Katelijne De; Hirst, Barry; Hundt, Ferdinand; Kassai, Behrouz; Kerpel-Fronius, Sandor; Kiessig, Lucy; Klech, Heinrich; Kraehenbuhl, Jean-Pierre; Lafolie, Pierre; Lucht, Martin; Niese, Detlef; Pauli-Magnus, Christiane; Peters, Barbara; Schaltenbrand, Ralf; Stockis, Armel; Stykova, Martina; Verheus, Nicolette; Klingmann, Ingrid
A better education and training of clinical investigators and their teams is one of the factors that could foster the development of clinical research in Europe, a key objective of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). PharmaTrain (an IMI programme on training in medicines development), and European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) have joined forces to address this issue. An advisory group composed of representatives of universities, pharmaceutical companies and other organisations met four times between June 2011 and July 2012. This resulted in a position paper proposing a strategy to improve and harmonize clinical investigator training in Europe, and including a detailed syllabus and list of learning outcomes. Major recommendations are the establishment of minimal and mutually recognized certification requirement for investigators throughout the EU and the creation of a European platform to provide a suitable course and examination infrastructure. PMID:24058345
Calatrava, María; López-Del Burgo, Cristina; de Irala, Jokin
The sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Europe are still rising. In order to prioritize STI prevention strategies in Europe, it is important to describe the prevalence of different sexual risk factors for STIs among European young people. We carried out a systematic review of published articles and studies performed by European institutions. A total of 21 articles and 10 studies were identified. The data shows an increase in early sexual initiation and the number of sexual partners. Young people who use condoms inconsistently ranged from 15 to 20%. The observed risk factors are: unawareness about other STIs different from HIV, being in favour of casual sex, wrongly believing that some measures are effective in avoiding HIV, not being aware of the risks from having multiple sexual partners and unawareness about the sexual transmission of HIV. The data suggests the need to improve the information addressed to youth.
Mattheus, Rudy A.
In the European Standardization Committee (CEN), the technical committee responsible for the standardization activities in Medical Informatics (CEN TC 251), has agreed upon the directions of the scopes to follow in this field. They are described in the Directory of the European Standardization Requirements for Healthcare Informatics and Programme for the Development of Standards adopted on 02-28-1991 by CEN/TC 251 and approved by CEN/BT. Top-down objectives describe the common framework and items like terminology, security, more bottom up oriented items describe fields like medical imaging and multi-media. The draft standard is described; the general framework model and object oriented model; the interworking aspects, the relation to ISO standards, and the DICOM proposal. This paper also focuses on all the boundaries in the standardization work, which are also influencing the standardization process.
Steiner, Thorsten; Petersson, Jesper; Al-Shahi Salman, Rustam; Christensen, Hanne; Cordonnier, Charlotte; Csiba, Laszlo; Harnof, Sagi; Krieger, Derk; Mendelow, David; Molina, Carlos; Montaner, Joan; Overgaard, Karsten; Roine, Risto O; Schmutzhard, Erich; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Toni, Danilo; Stapf, Christian
Over 2 million people are affected by intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) worldwide every year, one third of them dying within 1 month, and many survivors being left with permanent disability. Unlike most other stroke types, the incidence, morbidity and mortality of ICH have not declined over time. No standardised diagnostic workup for the detection of the various underlying causes of ICH currently exists, and the evidence for medical or surgical therapeutic interventions remains limited. A dedicated European research programme for ICH is needed to identify ways to reduce the burden of ICH-related death and disability. The European Research Network on Intracerebral Haemorrhage EURONICH is a multidisciplinary academic research collaboration that has been established to define current research priorities and to conduct large clinical studies on all aspects of ICH.
This article overviews the training of nuclear medicine technologists in chosen European countries, the United States and Canada. There are basically two types of training: at medical schools following secondary school, without any university degree, usually on a 2- or 3-year basis, or else as a university course, leading to a BSc degree after 3 years, and in some countries to an MSc degree after an additional 2 years. In the United States both systems coexist, while in Europe the picture varies from country to country. The number of hours devoted to nuclear medicine also varies between curricula. Some efforts are being made to unify this system by transition to the university model of education in many European countries.
Hook, I M
Prospects for future supernova surveys are discussed, focusing on the European Space Agency's Euclid mission and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), both expected to be in operation around the turn of the decade. Euclid is a 1.2 m space survey telescope that will operate at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and has the potential to find and obtain multi-band lightcurves for thousands of distant supernovae. The E-ELT is a planned, general-purpose ground-based, 40-m-class optical-infrared telescope with adaptive optics built in, which will be capable of obtaining spectra of type Ia supernovae to redshifts of at least four. The contribution to supernova cosmology with these facilities will be discussed in the context of other future supernova programmes such as those proposed for DES, JWST, LSST and WFIRST.
Gray, Bradford H; van Ginneken, Ewout
European countries have smaller shares of undocumented migrants than does the United States, but these individuals have substantial needs for medical care and present difficult policy challenges even in countries with universal health insurance systems. Recent European studies show that policies in most countries provide for no more than emergency services for undocumented migrants. Smaller numbers of countries provide more services or allow undocumented migrants who meet certain requirements access to the same range of services as nationals. These experiences show it is possible to improve access to care for undocumented migrants. Strategies vary along three dimensions: (1) focusing on segments of the population, like children or pregnant women; (2) focusing on types of services, like preventive services or treatment of infectious diseases; or (3) using specific funding policies, like allowing undocumented migrants to purchase insurance.
Fudge, R. E.; Fenton, C. J.
British Telecom conceived the idea of adapting their existing paging service, together with the use of existing terrestrial pagers, to yield a one way data (i.e., paging) satellite service to mobiles. The user trial of paging by satellites was successful. It demonstrated that services could be provided over a wide geographical area to low priced terminals. Many lessons were learned in unexpected areas. These include the need for extensive liaison with all users involved, especially the drivers, to ensure they understood the potential benefits. There was a significant desire for a return acknowledgement channel or even a return data channel. Above all there is a need to ensure that the equipment can be taken across European borders and legitimately used in all European countries. The next step in a marketing assessment would be to consider the impact of two way data messaging such as INMARSAT-C.
Verhaegen, Soetkin; Hooghe, Marc; Meeusen, Cecil
In this article, we investigate the relationship between different learning methods and the formation of European identity among adolescents. The analysis is based on the European module of the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (2009), with 70,502 respondents in 21 European member states. The results show that offering…
R.L. Carovillano 218 The Seventh European Regional Astronomy meeting dealt with almost every area of astronomy; coverage included solar ...in the 25- to found in areas as diverse as electro- 35-m range at the Comitato Nazionale optics and pharmacology. Energia Nucleare laboratory in...physics research has led to knowledge gained in one area (or param- many discoveries in the solar system and eter domain) to another area that lacks to
primarily for the information of L ’ S. Government scientific personnel and contractors. It i-, not coli- c sidered part of the scientific literature...Stjbtiti.) S YEO EOT&PRO OEE EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES April_____________ S. PERFORMING ORG. REPORT NUMBER 7. AUTHOR(*) S. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER(#) 9... PERFORMING ORGANI1ZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10, PROGRAM ELEMENT PROJECT, TASK( AREA & WORK UNIT NUMBERS US OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH BRANCH OFFICE
Nielen, Myrthe G; de Vries, Sybe A; Geijsen, Niels
Advances in stem cell biology have raised legal challenges to the patentability of stem cells and any derived technologies and processes. In 1999, Oliver Brüstle was granted a patent for the generation and therapeutic use of neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The patent was challenged and put before the European Court of Justice, which ruled that inventions involving the prior destruction of human embryos cannot be patented. The legal maneuvering around this case demonstrates that the future of stem cell-based patents in Europe remains unsettled. Furthermore, owing to the European Court's broad definition of hESC as 'any cell that is capable of commencing development into a human being,' novel technologies that could eliminate the need for hESCs, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are at risk of being included under the same ruling. Advances in the in vitro development of germ cells from pluripotent stem cells may one day provide a direct developmental path from iPSC to oocyte and sperm, and, according to the European Court's reasoning, legally equate iPSCs with human embryos. In this review, we will briefly discuss the Brüstle v Greenpeace case and the implications of the European Court of Justice's ruling. We will identify potential risks for stem cell research and future therapeutics resulting from the broad legal definition of the human embryo. Finally, we will broach the current legal landscape, as this broad definition has also created great uncertainty about the status of human iPSCs.
Francisci, Silvia; Capocaccia, Riccardo; Grande, Enrico; Santaquilani, Mariano; Simonetti, Arianna; Allemani, Claudia; Gatta, Gemma; Sant, Milena; Zigon, Giulia; Bray, Freddie; Janssen-Heijnen, Maryska
Cancer survival analyses based on cancer registry data do not provide direct information on the main aim of cancer treatment, the cure of the patient. In fact, classic survival indicators do not distinguish between patients who are cured, and patients who will die of their disease and in whom prolongation of survival is the main objective of treatment. In this study, we applied parametric cure models to the cancer incidence and follow-up data provided by 49 EUROCARE-4 (European Cancer Registry-based study, fourth edition) cancer registries, with the aims of providing additional insights into the survival of European cancer patients diagnosed from 1988 to 1999, and of investigating between-population differences. Between-country estimates the proportion of cured patients varied from about 4-13% for lung cancer, from 9% to 30% for stomach cancer, from 25% to 49% for colon and rectum cancer, and from 55% to 73% for breast cancer. For all cancers combined, estimates varied between 21% and 47% in men, and 38% and 59% in women and were influenced by the distribution of cases by cancer site. Countries with high proportions of cured and long fatal case survival times for all cancers combined were characterised by generally favourable case mix. For the European pool of cases both the proportion of cured and the survival time of fatal cases were associated with age, and increased from the early to the latest diagnosis period. The increases over time in the proportions of Europeans estimated cured of lung, stomach and colon and rectum cancers are noteworthy and suggest genuine progress in cancer control. The proportion of cured of all cancers combined is a useful general indicator of cancer control as it reflects progress in diagnosis and treatment, as well as success in the prevention of rapidly fatal cancers.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Jacques Attali , is a former adviser to President Francois Mitterand. "Mr. Attali had never run a...Linkina NATO and the WEU, p. 10. 14. " Attali Unleashed," Wall Street Journal (New York), 17 April 1991, p. A14. 24 15. "France Threatens NATO Walkout...Jacques Attali to serve as president of the bank, but the designated American number two in command declined. Quickly, Mr. Attali appointed an
Galil, B.S.; Marchini, A.; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Minchin, D.; Narščius, A.; Ojaveer, H.; Olenin, S.
The European Union lacks a comprehensive framework to address the threats posed by the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS). Current efforts are fragmented and suffer substantial gaps in coverage. In this paper we identify and discuss issues relating to the assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of introductions in European Seas (ES), based on a scientifically validated information system of aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, AquaNIS. While recognizing the limitations of the existing data, we extract information that can be used to assess the relative risk of introductions for different taxonomic groups, geographic regions and likely vectors. The dataset comprises 879 multicellular NIS. We applied a country-based approach to assess patterns of NIS richness in ES, and identify the principal introduction routes and vectors, the most widespread NIS and their spatial and temporal spread patterns. Between 1970 and 2013, the number of recorded NIS has grown by 86, 173 and 204% in the Baltic, Western European margin and the Mediterranean, respectively; 52 of the 879 NIS were recorded in 10 or more countries, and 25 NIS first recorded in European seas since 1990 have since been reported in five or more countries. Our results highlight the ever-rising role of shipping (commercial and recreational) as a vector for the widespread and recently spread NIS. The Suez Canal, a corridor unique to the Mediterranean, is responsible for the increased introduction of new thermophilic NIS into this warming sea. The 2020 goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy concerning marine Invasive Alien Species may not be fully attainable. The setting of a new target date should be accompanied by scientifically robust, sensible and pragmatic plans to minimize introductions of marine NIS and to study those present. PMID:24899770
surface EMG and provided insight in muscular disorders in computer users. Neuromuscular assessment in the Elderly Worker (NEW, 2001-2004) will apply...sport and geriatric medicine. Keywords - electromyography, surface EMG, fine wire EMG, needle EMG, muscles, European Union I. INTRODUCTION...Pullman et al.  are “SEMG is considered unacceptable as a clinical t ool i n the diagnosis of neuromuscular disease at t his time.” a nd “SEMG
Koch, Elisabeth; Adler, Silke; Ungersböck, Markus; Zach-Hermann, Susanne
Europe is in the fortunate situation that it has a long tradition in phenological networking: the history of collecting phenological data and using them in climatology has its starting point in 1751 when Carl von Linné outlined in his work Philosophia Botanica methods for compiling annual plant calendars of leaf opening, flowering, fruiting and leaf fall together with climatological observations "so as to show how areas differ". The Societas Meteorologicae Palatinae at Mannheim well known for its first European wide meteorological network also established a phenological network which was active from 1781 to 1792. Recently in most European countries, phenological observations have been carried out routinely for more than 50 years by different governmental and non governmental organisations and following different observation guidelines, the data stored at different places in different formats. This has been really hampering pan European studies, as one has to address many National Observations Programs (NOP) to get access to the data before one can start to bring them in a uniform style. From 2004 to 2005 the COST-action 725 was running with the main objective to establish a European reference data set of phenological observations that can be used for climatological purposes, especially climate monitoring, and detection of changes. So far the common database/reference data set of COST725 comprises 7687248 data from 7285 observation sites in 15 countries and International Phenological Gardens (IPG) spanning the timeframe from 1951 to 2000. ZAMG is hosting the database. In January 2010 PEP725 has started and will take over not only the part of maintaining, updating the database, but also to bring in phenological data from the time before 1951, developing better quality checking procedures and ensuring an open access to the database. An attractive webpage will make phenology and climate impacts on vegetation more visible in the public enabling a monitoring of
A model for the inference of object size and speed from observations is used to discuss European observations of impact. It compares the observed and predicted breakup altitudes for the objects larger than one meter and observes useful correlations. Trends in magnitude correlate well with measured velocities, altitudes, and trajectories and inferred size and strength parameters, but each parameter is subject to dispute, which can only be addressed when the sensitivity of predictions to uncertainties in these parameters is assessed.
I. Mihalas, George
This presentation attempts to analyze the trends in Medical Informatics along half a century, in the European socio-political and technological development context. Based on the major characteristics which seem dominant in some periods, a staging is proposed, with a description of each period – the context, major ideas, views and events. A summary of major features of each period is also added. This paper has an original presentation of the evolution of major trends in medical informatics. PMID:24648618
Standardization is a key aspect of the production business committed to the optimization of the product development and cost. In the Space field, American industries and Government organizations have developed since several decades Space standards like the MIL series, deriving them from the aircraft and military fields, or the NASA standards. The same happened later in other countries like Russia, Japan and China. In the last years most of those standards were revised to cope with the emerging needs of the market. In Europe, the Space activities were generally managed by a set of ESA standards, the PSS, which covered some aspects of these activities and reflected the up-to-date approaches and common practices. But, in the last years an initiative was also promoted by ESA, National Agencies and Space Organizations, named ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardization), with the aim to develop a coherent, single set of user-friendly standards for use in all European space activities. European industries supported this initiative, including a deep involvement of Alenia Spazio and, sometime through a suitable revision of the old PSS documents, new standards were defined, as for the "Testing" (ECSS-E-10-03A, now published). The ECSS-E-10-03A provides standard environmental and performance test requirements for space products (systems and their constituents) which are generally applicable to all projects. Scope of this paper is to present the status of the worldwide initiatives in the testing standardization, the major contents of the European ECSS Testing standard and the possibilities for tailoring. Differences in requirement definition with other international testing standards and proposals for further ECSS optimization are presented on the basis of Alenia Spazio experience in supporting the above initiatives.
probed, or as relativistic components may help resolve the remaining dis- of the nucleus ’ mcmentum distribution crepancies. For large momentum trans...RESOLUTION TST CHART OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH LONDON COLEYEL> EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC NOTES 0 ESN 34-4+ 30 April 1980 DTlC ELECTE Distributed by the Office...contractors. It is not con- sidered part of the scientific literature and should not be. cited : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE: DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED 80 6
cost method of obtaining the intelligence that a new military force might need. In particular, we have not considered all the nonsatellite ways of...system to eavesdrop on communications from geosynchrnus orbit, a system to detect ballistic missile launches, and a duplicate of the United States...for a short time. But if the contingpicy is extended and a lasting European presence is needed, support forces and resupply capabilities would have
Kortemeyer, Gerd; Westfall, Catherine
We organized and led a European study course for American undergraduate university students to explore the early history of relativity and quantum theory. We were inspired by The Physical Tourist articles published in this journal on Munich, Bern, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Göttingen. We describe this adventure both for others wishing to teach such a course and for anyone wishing to walk in the footsteps of the physicists who revolutionized physics in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Koch, E.; Lipa, W.; Ungersböck, M.; Zach-Hermann, S.
PEP725 is a 5 years project with the main object to promote and facilitate phenological research by delivering a pan European phenological database with an open, unrestricted data access for science, research and education. PEP725 is funded by EUMETNET (the network of European meteorological services), ZAMG and the Austrian ministry for science & research bm:w_f. So far 16 European national meteorological services and 7 partners from different nati-onal phenological network operators have joined PEP725. The data access is very easy via web-access from the homepage www.pep725.eu. Ha-ving accepted the PEP725 data policy and registry the data download can be done by different criteria as for instance the selection of a specific plant or all data from one country. At present more than 300 000 new records are available in the PEP725 data-base coming from 31 European countries and from 8150 stations. For some more sta-tions (154) META data (location and data holder) are provided. Links to the network operators and data owners are also on the webpage in case you have more sophisticated questions about the data. Another objective of PEP725 is to bring together network-operators and scientists by organizing workshops. In April 2012 the second of these workshops will take place on the premises of ZAMG. Invited speakers will give presentations spanning the whole study area of phenology starting from observations to modelling. Quality checking is also a big issue. At the moment we study the literature to find ap-propriate methods.
Kroemer, Guido; Fridman, Wolf Hervé; Sautès-Fridman, Catherine; Zitvogel, Laurence
The European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI, official website: http://eati.landesbioscience.com/index.html) has been founded in 2011 with the idea of creating a novel organization that responds to the need of structuring the European research space in this expanding, clinically ever more important area of research. Rapidly, this initiative, which regroups (part of) the elite of tumor immunologists, has been joined by 110 scientists, who accepted to join EATI as founding members. Obviously, EATI will not enter in competition with existing prestigious organizations, be they supranational (such as the Cancer Research Institute, CRI; the European Society for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, ESCII; and the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC), or national [such as the Cancer Immunology Working Group, CIMM, of the American Association for Cancer Reserch; the (German) Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, CIMT; the (US) Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, CIC; the (US) Cancer Vaccine Consortium, CVC; and the Italian Network for Cancer Biotherapy, NIBIT]. The choice of cooperation (rather than competition) with these organizations is clearly documented by the fact that many prominent members of CIMM, CIC, CIMT, CRI, CVC, ESCII, NIBIT and SITC are also EATI Academicians. PMID:22720233
Lo, R. E.
With the completion of the launch rocket series Ariane 1 to 4, Europe will have reached the same capacity to transport commercial payloads as the USA has with the Space Shuttle and the kick stages which are presently operative. The near term development of these capacities would require Europe to develop a larger launch rocket, Araine 5. Further motivations for this rocket are access to manned spaceflight, the development of an European space station, and the demand for shuttle technology. Shuttle technology is the subject of research being done in France on the winged re-entry vehicle Hermes. Operation of the European space station Columbus will require development of an interorbital transport system to facilitate traffic between the various segments of the space station. All European space transportation systems will have to match their quality to that of the other countries involve in space flight. All areas of development are marked not only by possible cooperation but also by increased competition because of increasing commercialization of space flight.
Fingerhut, Abe; Leppäniemi, Ari K; Androulakis, George A; Archodovassilis, F; Bouillon, Bertil; Cavina, Enrico; Chaloner, Eddie; Chiarugi, Massimo; Davidovic, Lazar; Delgado-Millan, Miguel Angel; Goris, Jan; Gunnlaugsson, Gunnar H; Jover, Jose Maria; Konstandoulakis, Manoussos M; Kurtoglu, Mehmet; Lepäntalo, Mauri; Llort-Pont, Carme; Meneu-Diaz, Juan Carlos; Moreno-Gonzales, Enrique; Navarro-Soto, Salvador; Panoussis, P; Ryan, James M; Salenius, Juha P; Seccia, Massimo; Takolander, Rabbe; Taviloglu, Korhan; Tiesenhausen, Kurt; Torfason, Bjarni; Uranüs, Selman
The rich and diverse heritage of the management of vascular injuries in the 45 independent European countries prevents the authors from revealing a uniform picture of the European experience, but some trends are clearly emerging. In countries with a low incidence of penetrating trauma and increasing use of interventional vascular procedures, the proportion of iatrogenic vascular trauma exceeds 40% of all vascular injuries, whereas on other parts of the continent, armed conflicts are still a major cause of vascular trauma. National vascular registries, mostly in the Scandinavian countries, produce useful, nationwide data about vascular trauma and its management but suffer still from inadequate data collection. Despite a relatively low incidence of vascular trauma in most European countries, the results are satisfactory, probably in most cases because of active and early management by surgeons on call, whether with vascular training or not, treating all kinds of vascular surgical emergencies. In some countries, attempts at developing a trauma and emergency surgical specialty, including expertise in the management of vascular injuries, are on their way.
Leschiutta, Sigfrido M.; Tavella, Patrizia
An outline of the future European space research program where precise clocks are necessary is presented, pointing out how space applications are posing impressive requirements as regards clock mass, power, ruggedness, long life, accuracy and, in some cases, spectral purity. The material presented was gathered in some laboratories; useful information was obtained from the Space Agencies of France (CNES), Germany (DARA) and Italy (ASI), but the bulk is coming from a recent exercise promoted inside ESA (the European Space Agency) and aimed to prefigure space research activities at the beginning of the next millennium. This exercise was called Horizon 2000 plus; the outcomings were summarized in two reports, presented by ESA in may 1994. Precise clocks and time measurements are needed not only for deep-space or out-ward space missions, but are essential tools also for Earth oriented activities. In this latter field, the European views and needs were discussed in October 1994, in a meeting organized by ESA and devoted to Earth Observation problems. By a scrutiny of these reports, an analysis was performed on the missions requiring a precise clock on board and the driving requirements were pointed out, leading to a survey of the necessary PTTI developments that, to some extent, are in the realm of possibility but that pose serious challenges. In this report the use of frequency standards in the satellite navigation systems is not considered.
This paper examines Europe's reactions to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). On the one hand, the American proposals have inspired forceful European opposition of a kind potentially damaging to Alliance solidarity. On the other, paradoxically, the debate occurred in a period of rare Alliance harmony, when the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles was satisfactorily completed despite Soviet hostility. Yet the nature of the discussion and the compromises reached between Europe and the United States on the SDI have meant that a true strategic debate has not yet begun. Although the SDI is largely an American response to an American strategic problem, Europeans are intimately affected by many of its implications. The author argues that if the SDI program is not to cause great difficulties in the future a more sophisticated discussion of the purposes of strategic defense must now be undertaken. Contents. Introduction; defense in the nuclear age; defense or deterrence: The limits of western consensus; the Euro-American debate on the SDI; European concerns and American responses; and conclusion.
At a global level, educating the nanotechnology workforce has been discussed since the beginning of the new millennium. Scientists, engineers and technicians should be trained in nanotechnology. Most educators prefer training students first in their own discipline at the Bachelor level (physics, chemistry, biology, etc) followed by specialisation in nanoscience and technology at the Master's level. Some favour a broad interdisciplinary basic training in different nanosciences followed by specialisation in a particular application area. What constitutes a good nanoscience curriculum is also being discussed, as well as the application of e-learning methodologies. The European Union is stimulating the development of nanoscience education in universities. The Erasmus Mundus programme is funding nanoscience and nanotechnology education programmes involving universities in several European countries. The policy debate in Europe is moving towards vocational training in nanotechnology for educating the technicians needed in industry and research. The EU vocational training institute CEDEFOP published a report in 2005 The EU funded European gateway to nanotechnology Nanoforum has stimulated the accessibility of nano-education throughout Europe with reports and online databases of education courses and materials. For university education, they list courses at the Bachelor, Master's, and PhD level as well as short courses. The EU funded EuroIndiaNet project also reviewed Nano-education courses at the Master's level, short courses, e-learning programmes, summerschools and vocational training courses. In this presentation, I review Nanoforum and other publications on nano-education in Europe and highlight current trends and gaps.
Tillmann, Taavi; Sandgren, Andreas; Williams, Gemma; Rechel, Bernd; Ingleby, David; Noori, Teymur; Mladovsky, Philipa; McKee, Martin
Background: Although tuberculosis (TB) incidence has been decreasing in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in the last decades, specific subgroups of the population, such as migrants, remain at high risk of TB. This study is based on the report ‘Key Infectious Diseases in Migrant Populations in the EU/EEA’ commissioned by The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Methods: We collected, critically appraised and summarized the available evidence on the TB burden in migrants in the EU/EEA. Data were collected through: (i) a comprehensive literature review; (ii) analysis of data from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) and (iii) evidence provided by TB experts during an infectious disease workshop in 2012. Results: In 2010, of the 73 996 TB cases notified in the EU/EEA, 25% were of foreign origin. The overall decrease of TB cases observed in recent years has not been reflected in migrant populations. Foreign-born people with TB exhibit different socioeconomic and clinical characteristics than native sufferers. Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to use multiple data sources, including the largest available European database on infectious disease notifications, to assess the burden and provide a comprehensive description and analysis of specific TB features in migrants in the EU/EEA. Strengthened information about health determinants and factors for migrants’ vulnerability is needed to plan, implement and evaluate targeted TB care and control interventions for migrants in the EU/EEA. PMID:25500265
Frölich, Kai; Kujawski, Olgierd E J Graf; Rudolph, Michael; Ronsholt, Leif; Speck, Stephanie
From 1998 to 2000, serum samples of 80 shot European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) from Argentina were examined for antibodies against European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) and 80 spleen samples were tested for EBHSV-antigen by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Nine hares were positive for EBHSV-antigen. Antibodies against EBHSV were detected in only one individual. Based on negative staining electron microscopy of spleen homogenates, we observed calicivirus in one of five EBHSV-antigen positive hares. However, EBHS has not been reported to cause abnormal mortality in these hares. This is the first report of antibodies to EBHSV, EBHSV-antigen, and electron microscopy findings in free-ranging European brown hares from South America.
Engert, Andreas; Balduini, Carlo; Brand, Anneke; Coiffier, Bertrand; Cordonnier, Catherine; Döhner, Hartmut; de Wit, Thom Duyvené; Eichinger, Sabine; Fibbe, Willem; Green, Tony; de Haas, Fleur; Iolascon, Achille; Jaffredo, Thierry; Rodeghiero, Francesco; Salles, Gilles; Schuringa, Jan Jacob
The European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better funded, more focused European hematology research. Initiated by the EHA, around 300 experts contributed to the consensus document, which will help European policy makers, research funders, research organizations, researchers, and patient groups make better informed decisions on hematology research. It also aims to raise public awareness of the burden of blood disorders on European society, which purely in economic terms is estimated at €23 billion per year, a level of cost that is not matched in current European hematology research funding. In recent decades, hematology research has improved our fundamental understanding of the biology of blood disorders, and has improved diagnostics and treatments, sometimes in revolutionary ways. This progress highlights the potential of focused basic research programs such as this EHA Roadmap.The EHA Roadmap identifies nine 'sections' in hematology: normal hematopoiesis, malignant lymphoid and myeloid diseases, anemias and related diseases, platelet disorders, blood coagulation and hemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine, infections in hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These sections span 60 smaller groups of diseases or disorders.The EHA Roadmap identifies priorities and needs across the field of hematology, including those to develop targeted therapies based on genomic profiling and chemical biology, to eradicate minimal residual malignant disease, and to develop cellular immunotherapies, combination treatments, gene therapies, hematopoietic stem cell treatments, and treatments that are better tolerated by elderly patients.