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Res Vet Sci. 2006 Apr;80(2):140-6. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

An epidemiological evaluation of Mycobacterium bovis infections in wild game animals of the Spanish Mediterranean ecosystem.

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  • 1Departamento de I+D, Laboratorios Dr. Larrasa S.L, C/Corredera Hernando de Soto 13-A, 06380 Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain. aparra@laboratorioslarrasa.com


Recreational hunting of indigenous wild artiodactyls has been one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing industries in Western Spain over the last five years. In the absence of careful ecological management, one consequence of the commercial exploitation of this natural resource has been the appearance of outbreaks of infectious disease; most notably bovine tuberculosis. From the outset of the study in 1997, we have observed a steady increase in prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in both species reaching 1.74 (+/-0.17) in deer in 2002 and 2.32 (+/-0.24) in wild boar. The latter species seems to be most severely affected with pulmonary lesions appearing more chronic than those observed in deer. In this study, we describe the epidemiology of M. bovis in European wild boar (Sus scrofa) and Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) in Extremadura (W. Spain); a region where there are large areas of natural habitat for these species.

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