Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Experimental Infection of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Stabel, Judith
item Waters, Wade
item Bannantine, John
item Miller, Janice

Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2007
Publication Date: November 16, 2007
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Stabel, J.R., Waters, W.R., Bannantine, J.P., Miller, J.M. 2007. Experimental Infection of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 43(4):597-608.

Interpretive Summary: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) is the bacterial agent that causes paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease, a chronic disease of domestic ruminants as well as some wild ruminants. Paratuberculosis is characterized by a long pre-clinical phase followed by clinical signs such as severe diarrhea and weight loss. Shedding of Map in the feces is characteristic of the pre-clinical as well as clinical phases and important in disease transmission. Animal models of paratuberculosis that simulate all aspects of the disease are rare. Oral dosing of 9 day old white-tailed deer with Map resulted in clinical disease, intermittent but consistent fecal shedding of Map and signs of the disease consistent with paratuberculosis in tissues associated with the intestines. Animal models such as this will become increasingly important to investigate disease development, diagnosis, and interspecies transmission of bacteria such as Map that serve as disease causing agents to both domestic and wild ruminants. This information will be of use to other researchers, wildlife and agricultural agencies and livestock producers.

Technical Abstract: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) is the causative agent of paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease, a chronic enteric disease of domestic ruminants as well as some non-domestic ruminants. Paratuberculosis is characterized by a protracted subclinical phase followed by clinical signs such as diarrhea, weight loss and hypoproteinemia. Fecal shedding of Map is characteristic of the subclinical as well as clinical phases and important in disease transmission. Lesions of paratuberculosis are characterized by chronic granulomatous enteritis and lymphadenitis. Animal models of paratuberculosis that simulate all aspects of the disease are rare. Oral inoculation of 9 day old white-tailed deer with 1.87 x 10**10 CFU of Map strain K10 resulted in clinical disease (soft to diarrheic feces) as early as 146 days after inoculation. Intermittent but consistent fecal shedding of Map was seen between 28 and 595 days after inoculation and lesions consistent with paratuberculosis developed between 390 and 595 days after inoculation. Animal models such as this will become increasingly important to investigate disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, and interspecies transmission of agents such as Map that serve as pathogens to both domestic and wild ruminants.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page