ABSTRACT

Paratuberculosis (PTB) is a disease that affects cattle (Bos taurus), goats (Capra aegagrus hircus), sheep (Ovis aries), and wild animals, such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), since all ruminants are susceptible. The causal agent is Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). The disease is chronic, consumptive, and incurable; it causes chronic granulomatous gastroenteritis with lymphangiectasis and lymphangitis leading to a syndrome of malnutrition and eventually to death. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is transmitted in feces mainly orally; however, it can also be transmitted vertically. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of MAP antibodies and its relationship to age and sex of Texas white-tailed deer in the subclinical stage of PTB in Coahuila, Mexico. The entire population (n=99) belonging to the Wildlife Management and Conservation Unit (WMCU) San Juan, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico was captured. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was diagnosed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay by serologic test. Seroprevalence variables of adult vs. young females and males vs. females were compared. The treatments were assigned at random. For the analysis of data, the chi-square test was used. Total seroprevalence in an intensive WMCU was 16% (16/99). Total seroprevalence by sex was 5.0% (5/99) for males and 11% (11/99) for females, and total seroprevalence by age was 7% (7/99) for young and 9% (9/99) for adult. Within sex, the seroprevalence in males was 16% (5/31) and 16% (11/68) in females. There were no statistical differences for any of the comparisons. Total seroprevalence of the white-tailed deer population in the WMCU was 16%, and PTB seroprevalence was independent of sex or age of the sampled individuals of this population.

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