Mycobacterium paratuberculosis originally isolated from bighorn sheep (Oris canadensis) with spontaneous paratuberculosis was used to orally inoculate Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) calves, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) fawns, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fauns, bighorn × mouflon (Ovis musimon) hybrid lambs, and domestic lambs. All experimentally exposed animals became infected. During the first year of infection, hybrid and domestic sheep were able to control the infection but infection was progressive in elk and deer. Clinical paratuberculosis occurred only in mule deer.
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