Publication discusses pasteurellosis in domestic, wild sheep

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The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology has released a new CAST Commentary, "Pasteurellosis Transmission Risks Between Domestic and Wild Sheep," to evaluate current knowledge on the issue and highlight needs for further research.

According to the publication, disease has contributed to the decline of bighorn sheep throughout much of western North America, decreasing many native herds to less than 10 percent of their historical size. Although native sheep are particularly susceptible to pneumonia—and interactions between wild and domestic species seem to carry some risk for disease spread—not all contemporary pasteurellosis epizootics in bighorn sheep are attributable to contact with domestic populations, the commentary states.

The new CAST Commentary features discussion of the following:

  • introduction to pasteurellosis and the historical and current incidence of pasteurellosis in sheep
  • examination of pneumonic pasteurellosis in domestic sheep
  • review of pasteurellosis in wild sheep
  • risks of pasteurellosis from interactions between wild and domestic sheep
  • strategies for minimizing interspecies disease transmission and for managing health of wild sheep
  • identification of specific research needs for the future
  • conclusions and complete list of reference citations

The full text of the publication, CAST Commentary QTA 2008-1, is available without charge at

The AVMA is a member of CAST, an international consortium of scientific and professional societies. The consortium assembles, interprets, and communicates scientific information about agriculture.