Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 17, 2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: To determine the ability of experimentally inoculated white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to transmit Mycobacterium bovis to naïve deer through the sharing of feed, 4 deer were intratonsillarly inoculated with 4 x 10**5 (colony forming units) CFU of M. bovis. On a daily basis, feed not consumed by inoculated deer after approximately 8 hours, was offered to 4 naïve deer maintained in a separate pen where direct contact, aerosol transmission, or transmission through personnel were prevented. After 150 days, naïve deer were euthanized and examined. All naïve deer had lesions consistent with tuberculosis and M. bovis was isolated from various tissues. The most commonly affected tissues were the lung, tracheobronchial lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes. This study demonstrates the potential for indirect transmission of M. bovis through the sharing of feed. Artificial feeding of deer in regions where M. bovis infection is endemic should be avoided, as both direct and indirect transmission through sharing of feed are enhanced.