Experimental tuberculosis in red deer (Cervus elaphus)

Experimental tuberculosis in red deer (Cervus elaphus)
Peer reviewed


This study was designed to investigate experimental Mycobacterium bovis infection of red deer (Cervus elaphus). Three intravenously inoculated deer (dose 10µg-1000µg) developed miliary tuberculosis of the lungs and all died within 28 days of being infected. No clinical illnesses were observed in four subcutaneously (dose 1µg-1000µg) and three intratracheally (dose 10µg-100µg) inoculated deer. At the conclusion of the experiment six weeks post inoculation, these seven animals reacted to 2 mg/ ml of bovine purified protein derivative. The principal lesions in the intravenously inoculated deer were in the lungs which had multiple foci of necrosis containing very large numbers of acid fast bacilli. A gradation of changes was seen in the subcutaneously inoculated deer. The animal receiving the lpg dose only had lesions at the injection site and the draining prescapular lymph node. Deer receiving higher doses also had histopathological changes in the lungs and liver. Microscopic changes in the intratracheallv infected animals were restricted to the thoracic cavity. The ability of the deer to controlled infection was related to the route of inoculation.

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