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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Naturally Occurring Tuberculosis in White-Tailed Deer

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Whipple, Diana
item Payeur, Janet - USDA/APHIS/VS/NVSL
item Alt, David
item Esch, Kevin
item Bruning-Fann, Colleen - USDA/APHIS/VS
item Kaneene, John - MI STATE UNIV, LANSING

Submitted to: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: One hundred sixteen white-tailed deer were examined for tuberculosis due to ction with Mycobacterium bovis from a captive herd of approximately 300. F en (12%) of the 116 deer examined were infected with M. bovis. Nine deer ( had visible tissue changes characteristic of tuberculosis, while 5 deer (36 d no such visible changes, but M. bovis was isolated by bacteriologic cultu uom pooled tissues from the head (tonsils; medial retropharyngeal, parotid, andibular lymph nodes). Tissue changes consistent with tuberculosis were m ommonly seen in medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes and lungs. Bacteriologi ture of swabs of the tonsilar crypt yielded M. bovis from 2 deer. Tubercul eer ranged in age from 0.5 to 6 yr. of age, with deer 2 to 4 yr. old most c ly affected. Many surveys of white-tailed deer for tuberculosis involve on amination of the lymph nodes of the head. Such an examination would have i fied only 50% of the tuberculous deer in the present study. This informati i important to wildlife and agriculture officials in states where surveilla r tuberculosis in white-tailed deer is conducted.

Technical Abstract: To examine the distribution of lesions and bacterial infection, routes of p ial shedding of bacteria, and environmental contamination with Mycobacteriu is in a captive population of white-tailed deer with known M. bovis infecti 16 captive white-tailed deer from a herd of approximately 300 deer located n a 1500-acre fenced facility were examined by thorough postmortem examinat t Tissues with gross lesions suggestive of tuberculosis were collected sepa for microscopic analysis and bacteriologic culture. Tissues from deer wit gross lesions were pooled for bacteriologic culture from regions of the hea orax, and abdomen. Tonsilar, nasal, and oral swabs as well as fecal sample e collected from all deer for bacteriologic culture. Samples of hay and pel ed feed from feeding sites, soil around feeding sites, and water from 2 nat ponds used as watering sites by the deer were also collected for bacteriolo ulture. Fourteen of 116 (12%) deer were tuberculous; however, only nine of f64%) deer had lesions consistent with tuberculosis. Most commonly affecte ues included the medial retropharyngeal lymph node and lung. Five of 14 (3 uberculous deer had no gross lesions suggestive of tuberculosis; however, M is was isolated from pooled samples from the head. The mean age of tubercul eer was 2.5 yr. with a range of 0.5 to 6 yr. Bacteriologic culture of swab the tonsilar crypt region yielded M. bovis in 2 cases. Mycobacterium bovis ot isolated from any samples of pelletized feed, hay, soil, or water. State eys for tuberculosis in deer generally involve examination of the head only ch surveys may be underestimating disease prevalence by as much as 50%.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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