Paratuberculosis was diagnosed in an endangered Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) in November 1996. Between 10 April 1997 and 28 September 2000, the Key deer population was monitored for infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis by necropsy of available carcasses (n = 170), fecal cultures, and serology. One additional clinically affected Key deer was discovered in July 1998, and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was cultured from the feces of one live, asymptomatic deer. The results of this study provided sufficient evidence to consider the Key deer herd infected with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis at very low prevalence.
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Vol. 38 • No. 4