Data from: Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest
Hoffmann, Constanze et al. (2018), Data from: Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v8bn7
Anthrax is a globally significant animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. We reveal cryptic the dynamics of an anthrax causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest with severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades we found that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for a broad range of mammalian hosts. We predict that this pathogen will accelerate the decline and possibly result in the extirpation of local chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) populations. Our findings illuminate the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen and have important implications for conservation and public health.