Paratuberculosis infection of nonruminant wildlife in Scotland

Recent reports of natural paratuberculosis (or Johne's disease) in rabbits, foxes, and stoats has focused debate on the presence and importance of wildlife reservoirs in the epidemiology of this disease. This paper describes an extensive study investigating 18 nonruminant wildlife species for evidence of paratuberculosis. Using both culture and histopathological analysis, fox, stoat, weasel, crow, rook, jackdaw, rat, wood mouse, hare, and badger were found to harbor Mycobacterium avium subsp, paratuberculosis, the causative organism of paratuberculosis, suggesting that the epidemiology of this disease is more complex than previously realized.

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