Epizootic of paratuberculosis in farmed elk

Elizabeth J. B. Manning From the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Manning, Steinberg, Collins); South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Rossow); and the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55104 (Ruth).

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Howard Steinberg From the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Manning, Steinberg, Collins); South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Rossow); and the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55104 (Ruth).

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Kurt Rossow From the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Manning, Steinberg, Collins); South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Rossow); and the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55104 (Ruth).

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George R. Ruth From the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Manning, Steinberg, Collins); South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Rossow); and the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55104 (Ruth).

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Michael T. Collins From the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Manning, Steinberg, Collins); South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Rossow); and the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55104 (Ruth).

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  • Elk infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis have clinical signs that are similar to those in infected cattle, but elk may die from the disease at a younger age than is commonly reported in cattle. Histologic lesions in elk are similar to classic lesions of paratuberculosis in cattle.

  • Diagnostic techniques such as bacterial culture of feces or tissues and microscopic examination of tissues are useful in confirming a diagnosis made by the agar gel immunodiffusion test.

  • Husbandry methods that can limit transmission of the infection include use of feed and water troughs that can be cleaned with tuberculocidal disinfectant, fencing off or draining areas of standing water, removal of manure from feeding areas, and prompt and continued isolation of elk with clinical signs consistent with paratuberculosis.

  • The elk farming industry, characterized by frequent exchange and sale of elk, may benefit from increased veterinary attention to detection and control of paratuberculosis.

  • Elk infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis have clinical signs that are similar to those in infected cattle, but elk may die from the disease at a younger age than is commonly reported in cattle. Histologic lesions in elk are similar to classic lesions of paratuberculosis in cattle.

  • Diagnostic techniques such as bacterial culture of feces or tissues and microscopic examination of tissues are useful in confirming a diagnosis made by the agar gel immunodiffusion test.

  • Husbandry methods that can limit transmission of the infection include use of feed and water troughs that can be cleaned with tuberculocidal disinfectant, fencing off or draining areas of standing water, removal of manure from feeding areas, and prompt and continued isolation of elk with clinical signs consistent with paratuberculosis.

  • The elk farming industry, characterized by frequent exchange and sale of elk, may benefit from increased veterinary attention to detection and control of paratuberculosis.

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