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Project Title:

Revisiting Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area
PIN: DELS-BANR-14-03        

Major Unit:

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit: Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

RSO: Yih, Peggy T

Subject/Focus Area: Agriculture; Biology and Life Sciences

Project Scope
In this update of Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area (NRC, 1998) an NRC-appointed committee will comprehensively review and evaluate the available scientific literature and other information on the prevalence and spread of Brucella abortus in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) in wild and domestic animals and examine the feasibility, time-frame, and cost-effectiveness of options to contain or suppress brucellosis across the region. The study will examine factors associated with the increased occurrence of brucellosis transmission from wildlife to livestock and the recent expansion of brucellosis in non-feedground elk, including whether evidence suggests that brucellosis is self-sustaining in elk or if reinfection through emigration from feeding grounds is occurring. The study also will explore the role of feeding grounds, predators, population size, and other factors in facilitating brucellosis infection. The study committee will examine disease management activities and vaccination strategies being undertaken or considered at the state, regional, and federal level, and evaluate the biological, animal-health, and public-health effects of those activities. The committee also will examine the current state of brucellosis vaccines, vaccine delivery systems, and vaccines under development for bison, cattle, and elk, as well as the effectiveness of currently available vaccination protocols. In the course of its review, the committee will explore the likelihood of developing more effective vaccines, delivery systems, and diagnostic protocols for cattle, bison, and elk.

Throughout the study, the committee will meet with wildlife managers, animal health officials, land managers, native peoples, and other stakeholders, including the members of the public, to understand the implications of brucellosis control efforts on other goals and activities in the region and nationally. The committee will examine the societal and economic costs and benefits of implementing various measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of brucellosis transmission to cattle and within wildlife relative to the costs and benefits of allowing the persistence of brucellosis in the GYA. In a consensus report, the committee will summarize the findings and conclusions of its analysis and based on the scientific evidence, describe the likely effectiveness and trade-offs of options that could be used to address brucellosis in the GYA.

In addition, the report will describe and prioritize further research needed to reduce uncertainties and advance the knowledge base on brucellosis vaccines, vaccine delivery mechanisms, and diagnostics.

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Project Duration: 12 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 07/01/2015
 Meeting 2 - 09/14/2015
 Meeting 3 - 09/15/2015
 Meeting 4 - 11/10/2015
 Meeting 5 - 02/22/2016
 Meeting 6 - 04/14/2016


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Revisiting Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area