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Martin-Hernando M.P.,IREC National Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Torres M.J.,University of Seville | Aznar J.,University of Seville | Aznar J.,Hospital Universitario Virgen Del Rocio | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Pathology | Year: 2010

Wild deer have an important role in the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). The aims of this study were (1) to compare the pattern of lesions present in wild red (Cervus elaphus) and fallow (Dama dama) deer that were naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis, and (2) to use this information to develop a sampling strategy for the isolation of M. bovis from the lymphoid tissues of the head of these animals. Culture of head lymphoid tissues demonstrated that 28 of 95 red deer and 22 of 100 fallow deer sampled were infected with M. bovis. Approximately 30% of each deer population had no gross lesions. Fallow deer were significantly more likely to have thoracic lesions than red deer. Lesions were observed in the retropharyngeal lymph nodes of 64% of the culture-positive red deer and 43% of the culture positive fallow deer. One third of the red deer, but none of the fallow deer, had well-encapsulated abscess lesions. There were no microscopical differences in the lesions in the lymph nodes of the red and fallow deer. Bacteriological culture from both the tonsil and retropharyngeal lymph nodes increased the rate of isolation of M. bovis by 22% over culture of the retropharyngeal lymph nodes alone in both species. These findings indicate that investigation of wild deer for bTB-compatible lesions should include examination of the medial retropharyngeal, left tracheobronchial, mediastinal, mesenteric and ileocaecal lymph nodes. Sampling for bacteriological culture from head lymphoid tissues should be from the tonsil and the medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes. These protocols may prove useful in bTB surveillance and control in regions where wild deer contribute to the circulation of M. bovis. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Rodriguez-Hidalgo P.,IREC National Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Rodriguez-Hidalgo P.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Gortazar C.,IREC National Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Tortosa F.S.,University of Cordoba, Spain | And 3 more authors.
Oecologia | Year: 2010

The influence of short- and long-term (cohort) effects of climate and density on the life-histories of ungulates in temperate regions may vary with latitude, habitat, and management practices, but the life-histories of ungulates in the Mediterranean region are less well known. This study examined the short- and long-term effects of rainfall and absolute density on hinds in two of the southernmost populations of red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) in Europe. One population received supplementary forage. Unlike more northerly latitudes, where red deer hinds lose body mass in winter as a result of adverse weather, in the Spanish populations, hinds did not lose body mass. Hinds in the population that received supplementary forage were heavier and more likely to become pregnant than were the hinds in the unsupplemented population. The likelihood of pregnancy occurring was strongly influenced by hind body mass; the proportion of yearlings that became pregnant was consequently lower in the unsupplemented population than in the population that received supplementary forage. Cohort effects on hind body mass (negative for density and positive for rainfall at birth) and on the probability of pregnancy (negative for density at birth) were apparent only in the unsupplemented population, which implies that supplemental feeding may partially compensate for negative density-dependent factors during early growth, and that supplemented deer hinds may experience reduced selection pressures. These results reflect the particular seasonal variation in the abundance and quality of food in Mediterranean habitats. The delayed effects of climate and density at birth on adult hind body mass and the prevalence of pregnancy probably affects population dynamics and constitutes a mechanism by which cohort effects affect the population dynamics in Iberian red deer. The management of Iberian red deer populations should take into account cohort effects and supplemental feeding practices, which can buffer density- and climate-dependent effects and reduce natural selection pressures. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Gortazar C.,IREC National Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Torres M.J.,University of Seville | Acevedo P.,University of Malaga | Aznar J.,University of Seville | And 4 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2011

Background: We describe the diversity of two kinds of mycobacteria isolates, environmental mycobacteria and Mycobacterium bovis collected from wild boar, fallow deer, red deer and cattle in Dõana National Park (DNP, Spain), analyzing their association with temporal, spatial and environmental factors. Results: High diversity of environmental mycobacteria species and M. bovis typing patterns (TPs) were found. When assessing the factors underlying the presence of the most common types of both environmental mycobacteria and M. bovis TPs in DNP, we evidenced (i) host species differences in the occurrence, (ii) spatial structuration and (iii) differences in the degree of spatial association of specific types between host species. Co-infection of a single host by two M. bovis TPs occurred in all three wild ungulate species. In wild boar and red deer, isolation of one group of mycobacteria occurred more frequently in individuals not infected by the other group. While only three TPs were detected in wildlife between 1998 and 2003, up to 8 different ones were found during 2006-2007. The opposite was observed in cattle. Belonging to an M. bovis-infected social group was a significant risk factor for mycobacterial infection in red deer and wild boar, but not for fallow deer. M. bovis TPs were usually found closer to water marshland than MOTT. Conclusions: The diversity of mycobacteria described herein is indicative of multiple introduction events and a complex multi-host and multi-pathogen epidemiology in DNP. Significant changes in the mycobacterial isolate community may have taken place, even in a short time period (1998 to 2007). Aspects of host social organization should be taken into account in wildlife epidemiology. Wildlife in DNP is frequently exposed to different species of non-tuberculous, environmental mycobacteria, which could interact with the immune response to pathogenic mycobacteria, although the effects are unknown. This research highlights the suitability of molecular typing for surveys at small spatial and temporal scales. © 2011 Gortazar et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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