© Borgis - Postępy Nauk Medycznych 10/2011, s. 842-845
*Monika Krajewska, Marek Lipiec, Krzysztof Szulowski
Bovine tuberculosis in bison (Bison bonasus caucasicus) located in Poland
Gruźlica bydlęca u żubrów w Polsce
Państwowy Instytut Weterynaryjny – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy w Puławach, Zakład Mikrobiologii
Kierownik Zakładu: prof. nadzw. dr hab. Krzysztof Szulowski
Gruźlica bydlęca jest przewlekłą chorobą zakaźną, której czynnikiem etiologicznym jest prątek bydlęcy (Mycobacterium bovis). Patogen ten charakteryzuje się największą patogennością wśród prątków zaliczanych do kompleksu Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Gruźlica bydlęca występuje głownie u bydła, ale powoduje również gruźlicę u zwierząt wolno żyjących, takich jak, żubry, jelenie, dziki, rysie, borsuki, fretki. Co roku gruźlica jest również notowana u zwierząt utrzymywanych w ogrodach zoologicznych oraz na fermach hodowlanych. Zakażeniu sprzyjają wzajemne kontakty, które zdarzają się na pastwiskach i łąkach. Ponadto Mycobacterium bovis cechuje się bardzo wysoką przeżywalnością w środowisku. Ten artykuł prezentuje opis trzech przypadków gruźlicy bydlęcej u żubrów w Bieszczadzkim Parku Narodowym. Wcześniej badania nad występowaniem gruźlicy u zwierząt dzikich w tym regionie były prowadzone przez Żórawskiego i Lipca oraz Weltza. Stwierdzili oni występowanie gruźlicy bydlęcej u żubrów i jednego borsuka. Testy stosowane w naszym laboratorium pozwoliły wyizolować i scharakteryzować szczepy Mycobacterium bovis wyodrębnione z tkanek żubrów.
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a chronic infectious disease. The etiological factor is the bovine bacillus (Mycobacterium bovis), which is characterized by the major pathogenicity among mycobacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. It occurs mainly in cattle, but also causes tuberculosis in other livestock such as bison (Bison bonasus caucasicus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), boar (Sus scrofa), lynx (Lynx lynx), badger (Males males), ferret (Mustela putorius). Every year tuberculosis it is also recorded in animals kept in zoos and in farmed herds. The cross – contamination may occur at the common meadows and pastures. In adition, Mycobacterium bovis has a very high survival in the environment. This article presents three cases of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in bison (Bison bonasus caucasicus) located in the Bieszczady National Park (BNP) in Poland. Earlier the studies on the occurrence of tuberculosis in wild animals in this region were conducted by Żórawski and Lipiec and Welz. Among tested animals they found bovine TB in bison and in one badger. The tests used in our laboratory enabled us isolation from bison’s organs and characterization of Mycobacterium bovis strains.
Wild animals are the subject of interest to many research centers (1, 2, 3, 4). The most important bacterial diseases of bison and other wild species are bovine tuberculosis, Johne’s disease (paratuberculosis), yersiniosis, leptospirosis, brucellosis, pasterellosis, anthrax, salmonellosis and colibacillosis (5). The relative importance of these disease will vary throughout the world depending on time and circumstances, nevertheless wild animals are considered one of the main reservoirs of these microorganisms (6) which may be transmitted directly and indirectly to livestock and humans. Sometimes it is difficult or even impossible to quantify a prevalence of the disease and efficiently fight with it. The poor environmental conditions, excessive density of animals, as well as more frequent occurring of cattle near nature reserves promote the cross contamination (6, 7, 8, 9). Bovine tuberculosis presents the most significant problem with respect to diagnosis, control, trade of live animals and the establishment of wildlife reservoirs of infection (5, 10). Eradication and control of the disease in livestock has been impeded in several countries by the presence of tuberculosis in wild species (11).
The similar situation exists in Poland. The Bieszczady National Park (BNP) is situated around the border with Ukraine, which still has a problem with the eradication of bovine tuberculosis and many outbreaks of the disease. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) publishes reports each year, which also place data on the epidemiology of BTB in Europe. Ukraine doesn’t provide any information about it and it is not officially bovine TB – free (non-OTF) country in accordance with legislation (12). On the contrary according to Commission Decision 2009/342/EC Poland is regarded as officially free of bovine TB (OTF) from 2009 (12, 13).
Tuberculosis caused by M. bovis has a special position among the numerous infectious diseases of wildlife. Many European countries still poses a serious economic and the epidemiological problem with bovine TB (14). This disease is characterized mainly by the symptoms of general weakness and progressive emaciation. The histopathological picture is dominated by granulomatous inflammation extending from the formation of tubercles at the entry point and the surrounding lymph nodes (primary complex) (15, 16, 17, 18, 19). Lesions usually appear as firm nodules, white to yellowish in color, and of a different size (14,16). It progresses to chronic and generalized infection affecting organs and lymph nodes (14, 16, 20, 21). It may lead to formation of large tumors in parenchymal organs and caseous necrosis of lymph nodes. In some cases, the entire structure inside the lymph node capsule is covered by necrosis (20, 21).
Material and Methods
The first case report. In march 2009, the dead bison was found in the BNP (female, ca 7 years old). External examination showed that the animal died one month earlier. Tissues were in good condition because of low temperatures. All tissue samples from this animal (lymph nodes, lungs, pleura, liver, spleen and visceral peritoneum), obtained from a Podkarpackie Provincial Veterinary Officer, were macroscopically examined and collected for further bacteriological examination (22).
The second case report. In March 2010, the same Veterinary Officer sent organs from two bison for further testing. One carcass (female, ca 9 years old) was found in the BNP and was almost entirely eaten by wild carnivorous animals. The remains were only the head with retropharyngeal and neck lymph nodes, bones and the skin. On the place of the death only scant biological material in form of lymph nodes was macroscopically examined and collected for bacteriological examination. The second bison (male, 15 years old) was shot by sanitary services in Park and set of samples in a very good shape was delivered to the laboratory.
Bacteriology examination. Tissue samples with lesions were homogenized and decontaminated in 5% oxalic acid and then flushed twice with a 0,85% NaCl (saline), according to the Instruction of the Central Veterinary Officer (22). The sediments were used for direct microscopical examination, culture and for bioassay.
Direct microscopy. The smears were prepared from tissues as well as sediments and were stained with Ziehl – Neelsen (ZN) method and microscopically examined for acid – fast bacilli (22, 23).
Culture. The sediments were inoculated onto three Stonenbrink (S), two Petragnani (P) and one Lowenstein-Jensen (L.J) slants. All slants were incubated at 37°C for 4-6 weeks, with reading every week. Identification of mycobacteria isolates was based on growth on S, L.J slants and morphology of colony.
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