From December 1991 through January 1995, a disease survey was conducted on herds of free-ranging, hunter-killed elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) from three areas in proximity to Yellowstone National Park (YNP), Wyoming (USA), after tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis was discovered in a captive herd of elk in the area. Complete or partial sets of specimens from 289 elk collected between December 1991 and January 1993 were examined histologically: no mycobacterial lesions were observed. Lesions of tuberculosis were not detected in tonsils or lymph nodes of the head from an additional 99 hunter-killed, adult elk from one area (area 2) collected in January 1995. Neither M. bovis nor M. paratuberctdosis were isolated from any of the specimens cultured. Antibodies to Brucella abortus were detected in serum samples from 0%, 1%, and 1% of elk from three areas sampled (areas 1, 2, and 3), respectively. Brucella abortus biovar 1 was isolated from multiple tissues from one seropositive animal from area 3. Larvae with morphology consistent with Dictyocaulus sp. were found in 12%, 14%, and 0% of fecal specimens tested from areas 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Pasteurella multocida and Actinomyces pyogenes were isolated from a lung with purulent bronchopneumonia and abscesses.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2