The Pathology of Spontaneous Paratuberculosis in the North American Bison (Bison bison)
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Gross and histopathologic examinations were performed on 70 North American bison (Bison bison) from a Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis culture-positive herd. The bison examined were part of a breeding herd totaling 2,800 animals. Eight of 70 (11%) animals had gross findings of intestinal mucosal thickening, and 16 of 70 (23%) of the animals had enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes. Histologic lesions compatible with Johne's disease were diagnosed in 30 of 70 (43%) bison on the basis of the demonstration of noncaseating granulomatous inflammatory infiltrates and of one or more acid-fast bacilli characteristic of Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis. A suspicious diagnosis of Johne's disease was obtained in 11 of 70 (16%) bison on the basis of the observation of noncaseating granulomatous inflammatory infiltrates without demonstrable acid-fast bacteria. Twenty-nine of 70 (41%) animals were assessed as histologically paratuberculosis free. Histologic results were compared to Johne's disease tests such as culture, serology, and polymerase chain reaction, which were performed on some of the cohort animals.
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