During a survey of carnivores and omnivores for bovine tuberculosis conducted in Michigan (USA) since 1996, Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from lymph nodes pooled from six coyotes (Canis latrans) (four adult female, two adult male), two adult male raccoons (Procyon lotor), one adult male red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and one 1.5-yr-old male black bear (Ursus americanus). One adult, male bobcat (Felis rufus) with histologic lesions suggestive of tuberculosis was negative on culture but positive for organisms belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex when tested by polymerase chain reaction. All the tuberculous animals were taken from three adjoining counties where M. bovis is known to be endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population. There were two coyotes, one raccoon, one red fox, and one bobcat infected in Alpena county. Montmorency County had two coyotes and one raccoon with M. bovis. Two coyotes and a bear were infected from Alcona County. These free-ranging carnivores/omnivores probably became infected with M. bovis through consumption of tuberculous deer. Other species included in the survey were opossum (Didelphis virginiana), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and badger (Taxidea taxus); these were negative for M. bovis.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1