Bovine Tuberculosis Essay

Submitted By skaggsemilee
Words: 1142
Pages: 5

Bovine Tuberculosis
Emilee Skaggs
English 100

The majority of Eastern Kentucky is located primarily inside the Daniel Boone National Forest. In the state of Kentucky and across the continent of North America, hunting is a huge sport and deer hunting is a major segment of the economy. Deer Farming/Ranches or Deer Hunting Lodges are a huge business. Management of the herd is a major concern for the USDA Forest Service and each of the individual State Departments of Fish and Wildlife. These agencies have goals to manage the deer population through posting hunting guidelines and doing research and development to improve the health and the quality of the deer population. There are many perils for the deer herd. One of the factors that is a priority concern in dealing with the deer population is disease. One of the biggest disease problems facing the deer population is Bovine Tuberculosis. One might think that the terminology “Bovine” would refer to only cattle. However, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, where extensive research has been done, studies show “Bovine Tuberculosis has been found in White-tail Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, Opossum, Raccoon, and Red Fox populations.” Bovine Tuberculosis is the most infectious form of TB. It is capable of affecting most mammals. It is caused by the Mycobacterium bovis or M.Bovis. Prior to 1964 only eight wild white tailed Mule Deer in North America were found to be infected by the disease. Starting in 1995, hunter harvested, road kill, and other white tail deer were examined for BovineTB. The deer were tested year round and it revealed that the majority of the BTB positive deer were in one general area. They found the largest population of infected deer in the Northeastern portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. ( It can be difficult to identify a deer that has this disease. The physical signs of Bovine Tuberculosis can include: “lesions in the chest cavity or lungs, tan or yellow lungs on the inside surface of the rib cage, and or in the lung tissue. Bovine TB infected deer that are not showing these signs can be identified by the inspection of the lymph-nodes in the deer’s head. Infected lymph-nodes, when cut, can contain one or more necrotic nodules. These nodules may vary in size and be filled with yellow-green or tan pus.”(Michigan Department of Natural Resources) Bovine Tuberculosis is a chronic progressive disease that can cause gradual debilitation, emaciation, depression, and intolerance to exercise. To clarify from reported observations, the animal may have difficulty with walking or movement, it may have severe weight loss, and some have shown a loss of interest in traveling or feeding with the herd and may just lie down most of the time. Other symptoms include coughing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing. In some instances superficial lymph-nodes in the neck will develop. The animal may exhibit large abscesses that may rupture and drain through the skin. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources) Medical diagnostic testing for this disease is done primarily through biopsy of lymph-nodes. The testing for Mycobacterium bovis is unique among the bacteria because they have a lot of waxy materials in their cell walls. Because of the waxy material known as my colic acid, the usual stains for looking at a bacteria, with a microscope, do not work. The mycolic acids give the Mycobacterium bovis the ability to hold on to special bacterial stains, allowing them to be seen with a microscope. The special stain is called an acid fast stain. This stain causes the Microbacterium bovis to look like very small red rods that are called acid fast bacilli. The rest of the sample is transferred to a culture media which allows any acid fast bacilli which are present to multiply. The culture is examined regularly for the next two months to look for the typical growth of Mbovis. This