Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Isolation of Mycobacterium Avium Subsp Paratuberculosis (Map) from Feral Cats on a Dairy Farm with Map-Infected Cattle

Authors
item PALMER, MITCHELL
item Stoffregen, William
item Carpenter, Jeremy - IOWA STATE UNIV
item STABEL, JUDITH

Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2005
Publication Date: July 20, 2005
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Stoffregen, W.C., Carpenter, J.G., Stabel, J.R. 2005. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) from feral cats on a dairy farm with MAP-infected cattle. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 41(3):629-635.

Interpretive Summary: A study was done to examine non-domestic animals for the presence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the agent that causes paratuberculosis in cattle, around a midwestern dairy with known MAP-infected cattle. Paratuberculosis results in chronic weight loss and diarrhea in cattle and is of great economic importance to dairy farmers. Twenty-five feral cats, 9 mice, 8 rabbits, 6 raccoons and 3 opossums were trapped. Tissues were collected and processed for the isolation of MAP as well as examined microscopically for signs of disease consistent with paratuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the lymph nodes from 7/25 (28%) of feral cats. Isolations of MAP were also made from the intestines of 3/7 MAP-infected cats and 1/9 (11%) mice. Tissue samples from other species did not yield MAP and signs of disease consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Dairy cattle may transmit MAP to non-domestic animals such as feral cats. The means by which cattle may transmit MAP to cats may be direct through ingestion of MAP contaminated feces or waste milk or indirect through ingestion of MAP-infected prey. Shedding of MAP from infected cats was not evaluated. The role of MAP-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation. This information is important to producers, veterinarians and animal health officials involved in the control of paratuberculosis in dairy cattle.

Technical Abstract: A cross sectional study was done to examine non-ruminant, non-domestic animals for the presence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) around a midwestern dairy with known MAP-infected cattle. Twenty-five feral cats, 9 mice, 8 rabbits, 6 raccoons and 3 opossums were trapped and euthanatized humanely. Tissues were collected and processed for the isolation of MAP as well as examined microscopically for lesions consistent with paratuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the mesenteric lymph node from 7/25 (28%) of feral cats. Isolations of MAP were also made from the jejunum or ileum of 3/7 MAP-infected cats and 1/9 (11%) of mice. Tissue samples from other species did not yield MAP and microscopic lesions consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Dairy cattle may transmit MAP to non-domestic animals such as feral cats. The means by which cattle may transmit MAP to cats may be direct through ingestion of MAP contaminated feces or waste milk or indirect through ingestion of MAP-infected prey. Shedding of MAP from infected cats was not evaluated. The epidemiological role of MAP-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page