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Mixed Mycobacterium avium subspecies avium and M avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection in a wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Belgium
  1. Rosario Volpe1,
  2. Thomas Fett1,
  3. Dominique Cassart1,
  4. Jacques Godfroid2,3 and
  5. Annick Linden1
  1. 1Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium
  2. 2Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  3. 3Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Professor Annick Linden; a.linden{at}uliege.be

Abstract

This report describes a mixed Mycobacterium avium subspecies avium and M avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection in a free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus). The gross presentation was consistent with clinical paratuberculosis as previously reported in red deer and for other ruminants, with poor body condition, diarrhoea and mesenteric lymphadenitis. However, this animal presented unusual lung lesions, with necrosis and calcification similar to those reported for Mycobacterium bovis infection in wild and domestic ruminants. A mixed M avium subspecies avium and M avium subspecies paratuberculosis was shown by quantitative PCR (qPCR) performed on digestive tract samples. In addition, M avium subspecies avium was also detected in the respiratory tract (lungs and bronchial lymph nodes) by qPCR. These results were confirmed by classical bacteriology. Lesions induced by those mycobacteria cannot be differentiated from M bovis lesions. This point is particularly important with regards to increasing interactions between livestock and wild animals.

  • paratuberculosis
  • red deer
  • Wallonia, Belgium
  • culture
  • qPCR
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Footnotes

  • Contributors RV: acquisition of data, analysis and drafting the article; TF, DC: biomolecular analysis and histopathology; JG, AL: conception and design, interpretation of data, revising the drafts.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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