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Wednesday, January 27 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Current Knowledge On The Transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis Between Domestic Animals and Wildlife As It Pertains To The Situation In Michigan

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AUTHORS: Scott D. Fitzgerald*, Michigan State University; Daniel J. O'Brien, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; John B. Kaneene, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Michigan has been dealing with an endemic of bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) in its wild white-tailed deer population since 1995. We will examine some of the factors relating to lateral transmission between and within various animal species, and methods of control which have been implemented. The aerosol route of transmission of bovine TB is believed to be responsible for 80-90% of all infections in cattle. Studies conducted at the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) have shown that ingestion of feed contaminated by bovine TB can occur between cattle and deer, and between deer. Our experience suggests that oral ingestion is at least as important as aerosol transmission in deer. Studies conducted at NADC and Michigan State University (MSU) has demonstrated that M. bovis can survive on common feedstuffs for periods up to 7 months. Since deer are the reservoir host of M. bovis, methods to decrease deer numbers, reduce supplemental feeding, and exclude deer from cattle pastures and feed storage areas have all been implemented to decrease deer to cattle bovine TB transmission. These methods have been successful to a degree. Recent epidemiologic investigation of one newly recognized bovine TB infected cattle herd provides a striking example of several aspects regarding bovine TB transmission and animal interactions. This herd had a high percentage of adult cattle infected. Surprisingly, this herd also had a high percentage of calves and domestic cats infected. We were able to demonstrate that the distribution of TB lesions varied between adult cattle, calves, and cats based on the route of transmission. This case also shows the threat that bovine TB continues to pose to human health through contaminated milk, and the importance that milk pasteurization plays in controlling this zoonotic disease.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST