Disease Management through Manipulation of the Host Population

  • Gary A. Wobeser


This chapter will deal with management of disease through manipulation of the distribution, density and composition of animal populations. The animals considered will be the vertebrates involved in disease, except for humans. I have arbitrarily assigned disease management techniques based on manipulation of invertebrates, such as the snail intermediate hosts of many helminths and the insect vectors of certain viral diseases, as well as the management of human activities, to other chapters. Methods that involve alteration of the resistance of individual animals through immunization and chemotherapy also will be discussed elsewhere. The methods discussed here are based on the general principles of preventing contact between disease agent and host, or of reducing or preventing the transmission of the agent among hosts. The actions that can be imposed on a population for disease management have been arranged into a series of steps, with each successive step involving an escalation in intensity of the action and in the degree of violence imposed upon the population. One must expect that, in this escalation, each step may be met with decreased public acceptance and increased public resistance. The latter must not be underemphasized and a program that seems rational, logical, and in the best interests of a wild species in a biologic sense, may be totally unworkable if politicians feel that it is unacceptable to the voting public. A disease management program that is tolerated in one area may be totally unacceptable in another, because of variations in the public’s attitude toward animals.


Infected Individual Wild Animal Ground Squirrel Population Reduction Snail Intermediate Host 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary A. Wobeser
    • 1
  1. 1.Western College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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