Journal Article


E Gormley
S Lesellier
E. Costello
D O'Meara
Leigh A L Corner



mycobacterium tuberculosis meles meles mycobacterium bovis immunity active ireland united kingdom lymph nodes infection

The distribution of Mycobacterium bovis infection in naturally infected badgers. (2011)

Abstract Populations of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) with tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis infection) are a significant reservoir of infection for cattle in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In this study the distribution of infection, histological lesions and gross lesions was determined in a sample of 132 culled badgers from naturally-infected wild populations. Badgers were culled when an epidemiological investigation following a tuberculosis breakdown in a cattle herd implicated badgers as the probable source of infection. The definition of tuberculosis infection was based on the isolation of M. bovis from tissues or clinical samples. An accurate diagnosis of infection was achieved by culturing a wide range of lymph nodes (LN) and organ tissues (mean 32.1) and clinical samples (faeces and urine) from each badger. Infection was detected in 57/132 badgers (43.2%). Histological lesions consistent with tuberculosis were seen in 39/57 (68.4%) culture-positive and 7/75 (9.3%) culture-negative animals. Gross lesions were seen in only 30/57 (52.6%) infected badgers, leaving a high proportion (47.4%) of infected animals with latent infection (no grossly visible lesions). The most frequently infected tissues were the lungs and axillary LN, followed by the deep cervical LN, parotid LN and tracheobronchial LN. The data support the hypotheses that in badgers there are only two significant routes of infection, namely, the lower respiratory tract and bite wounds, and that badgers are very susceptible to infection but resistant to the development and progression of the disease. At all levels of disease severity, infection was found in widely dispersed anatomical locations suggesting that there is early dissemination of infection in the period preceding the development of active immunity.
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Full list of authors on original publication

E Gormley, S Lesellier, E. Costello, D O'Meara, Leigh A L Corner

Experts in our system

E Gormley
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 68
Sandrine Lesellier
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 14
Eamon Costello
Dublin City University
Total Publications: 94
L A L Corner
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 34