Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 787181, 11 pages
Research Article

An Effort to Isolate Mycobacterium bovis from Environmental Substrates during Investigations of Bovine Tuberculosis Transmission Sites (Cattle Farms and Wildlife Areas) in Michigan, USA

1Center for Comparative Epidemiology, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314, USA
2Wildlife Conservation Society, Mongolia Country Program, P.O. Box 485, Post Office 38, Ulaanbaatar 211238, Mongolia
3Wildlife Disease Laboratory, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing, MI 48910-8106, USA
4Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, 13 Natural Resources, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 9 June 2011; Accepted 14 July 2011

Academic Editors: A. Unver and W. Yang

Copyright © 2011 Amanda E. Fine et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deer movements on cattle farms, wildlife feeding, and livestock management practices in Michigan are thought to create opportunities for indirect transmission of Mycobacterium bovis via environmental substrates. To confirm the presence of viable M. bovis in the environment, substrates were collected from 13 farms with culture-confirmed M. bovis in cattle and 5 sites with high prevalence of M. bovis in free-ranging deer. None of the samples processed for mycobacterial culture were positive for M. bovis. Agent, host, and landscape-level factors decrease the probability of detecting M. bovis in the environment using conventional mycobacterial culture. Molecular techniques that increase the probability of M. bovis detection in environmental substrates should be applied to known sites of M. bovis transmission in Michigan. In the interim, epidemiological investigations informed by experimental studies will be most effective in characterizing M. bovis persistence in the environment and its role in the indirect interspecies transmission of M. bovis.