The potential role of red deer (Cervus elaphus) as a reservoir of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) infection is largely unknown. A total of 332 wild red deer were investigated using post-mortem examination, bacteriology and serology. Only three animals (1.12%) were found to have lesions on histopathological examination and no MAP bacteria were recovered on culture. The results suggest it is unlikely that wild red deer make a significant contribution to the maintenance of MAP infection in the region. The cross-reactivity of the ELISAs used indicates this diagnostic modality is ineffective in the detection of MAP infection in this species. The implications of these results for the control of this important pathogen in both livestock and wildlife are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by MCINN Grants AGL2008-03875/FEDER and FP7EU/TB-STEP-212414 . We thank Lucía de Juan and other colleagues for their help.
- Disease surveillance
- Johne's disease
- Red deer (Cervus elaphus)