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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 931948, 8 pages
Research Article

Longitudinal Pathogenesis Study of Young Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) after Experimental Challenge with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP)

1AgResearch Invermay, P.O. Box 50034, Mosgiel, New Zealand
214 Rimu Lane, Wanaka 9305, New Zealand
3Disease Research Laboratory, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
4AgResearch Wallaceville, P.O. Box 40063, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Received 9 December 2011; Accepted 15 April 2012

Academic Editor: Michael D. Welsh

Copyright © 2012 Colin Mackintosh 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.


Paratuberculosis progresses more quickly in young red deer than in sheep or cattle. This study describes the clinical, immunological and pathological changes over a 50-week period in fourteen 4-month-old red deer that received heavy oral challenge with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). At 4 and 12 weeks post challenge they were anaesthetized and a section of jejunal lymph node was surgically removed for culture, histopathology, and genetic studies. All 14 deer became infected, none were clinically affected, and they had varying degrees of subclinical disease when killed at week 50. Week 4 biopsies showed no paratuberculosis lesions, but MAP was cultured from all animals. At weeks 12 and 50 histopathological lesions ranged from mild to severe with corresponding low-to-high antibody titres, which peaked at 12–24 weeks. IFN-γ responses peaked at 8–15 weeks and were higher in mildly affected animals than in those with severe lesions.