Among the people of Botswana, the wild African buffalo is the burger of choice. But this bushmeat could be making consumers sick: the animals harbour a pathogen that can cause severe fever in humans. The same pathogen is also common in some populations of buffalo in the US.
In 1974, researchers discovered that a bacterium from the genus Brucella, which causes brucellosis in humans, was widespread in herds of wild buffalo in Botswana. In response, the government built fences to isolate infected buffalo from domestic cattle, which can pass the disease to humans through meat, dairy products and close contact.