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Title: Helminth Parasites in Ruminants of Yellowstone National Park and Brucellosis Coinfection
Authors: Chao, Matthew
Advisors: Dobson, Andy
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Certificate Program: Global Health and Health Policy Program
Class Year: 2023
Abstract: Yellowstone National Park is a protected ecosystem surrounded by cattle ranches. Wildlife interactions create management challenges for cattle ranchers and the National Park Service. To quantify and characterize helminth infections of wildlife, I collected fecal samples of bison and elk in Yellowstone National Park. I analyzed the samples using a McMasters Egg Counting Technique to calculate the egg count per gram of fecal material for each individual. The results indicated that changes in herd size resulted in significant differences in infection rates for bison, while sex differences and age changes resulted in significant results for elk. These results match existing literature regarding disease transmission and helminth infection characteristics. The paper concludes with a Global Health Chapter responding to the challenge of managing brucellosis and the implications that helminth coinfection has on the spread of the bacteria. There are both concerns for human health and for livestock as brucellosis is a common zoonotic disease that is especially damaging in low-income countries. Managing the wildlife reservoirs that transmit diseases to domestic cattle can have a large impact on transmission. I explore how brucellosis and gastrointestinal helminths interactions reveal methods of indirect management as a way to decrease transmission.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2023
Global Health and Health Policy Program, 2017-2023

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