Detection of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in tissue samples of cattle and buffaloes


Tissue samples were collected at random from cattle (Bos taurus) and buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) from an abattoir of the district of Lahore and were analyzed for the presence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis through acid-fast staining and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Body condition of animals and diarrhea were recorded. Most of the animals were emaciated. Diarrhea was noticed in 15.6% of buffaloes and 19.2% of cattle. Intestinal pathology was observed in 29% of buffaloes and 32.8% of cattle. Number of mesenteric lymph node (MLN) showing gross lesions was a bit higher (35.6%) in cattle than buffalo (31.2%). Acid-fast staining of tissue scraping smears revealed the presence of acid-fast bacilli (AFB) in 17.4% intestinal and 16.4% MLN tissue samples in buffalo, while in cattle 19.2% intestinal and 17.8% MLN were found positive for AFB. In buffaloes, PCR confirmed 12.8% intestinal and 12.4% MLN positive samples for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. However, in cattle, PCR analysis demonstrated 14.2% positive results for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis in both MLN and intestinal tissue samples. PCR also confirmed M. bovis in 5.8% of cattle and 5% of buffalo MLN and intestinal tissues. PCR positive tissue samples for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were from those animals which were emaciated, having diarrhea, and severe gross lesions. AFB were also detected in tissue scraping smears of these animals. It is concluded that infection by various mycobacterium species can be differentiated by PCR, which is not possible by acid-fast staining technique. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.

Publication Title

Tropical Animal Health and Production