Current Literature on Diseases and Parasites of Bison

See also the Bibliographies on Parasites, Brucellosis and Tuberculosis...

last update: May 20, 1997

  1. Afshar, A., R.A. Heckert, G.C. Dulac, H.C. Trotter, D.J. Myers. 1996. Application of a competitive ELISA for the detection of bluetongue virus antibodies in llamas and wild ruminants. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 31: 327-30.

    Abstract: A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (C-ELISA), using a group-specific monoclonal antibody against bluetongue virus (BTV), was applied to detect anti-BTV antibodies in serum samples from two llamas (Llama glama) experimentally infected with BTV serotype 10. Antibodies were detected in both llamas by 1 wk or 2 wk post-infection. Antibodies to BTV increased exponentially during the first 4 wk in both llamas and stabilized at an elevated level during the remaining 5-wk- period of the experiment. We evaluated the C-ELISA for 1,442 field sera from bluetongue-free areas, collected from 398 llamas in New Zealand as well as 451 elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis), 323 bison (Bison bison) and 270 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Canada. Based on the frequency distribution of the C-ELISA values, we propose that the current negative cut-off value of 50% inhibition established for bovine field sera also can be applied to the sera from these wild ruminants. The C-ELISA values for other wild ruminant field sera collected in bluetongue-free areas of Canada from 98 native caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), 32 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), 14 moose (Alces alces), and nine musk-oxen (Ovibos maschatus) and 15 yak (Bos grunniens) also were less than 50%, with the exception of three caribou samples. Based on our results, we propose that the C-ELISA be used as a rapid and specific test for serodiagnosis of BTV infection in llamas and possibly other wild ruminants.

  2. Bevins, J.S., J.E. Blake, L.G. Adams, J.W. Templeton, J.K. Morton, and D.S. Davis. 1996. The pathogenicity of Brucella suis biovar 4 for bison. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 32(4): 581-585.

    Abstract: The pathogenicity of Brucella suis biovar 4 for bison (Bison bison) was evaluated by inoculation of 2.1 x 10^7 colony forming units (CFU) in 0.1 ml saline into the conjunctival sac of six pregant cows. Six pregnant bison were inoculated with 1.27 x 10^7 CFU of Brucella abortus strain 2308 as a positive control. Bison Were inoculated on 23 January 1992, and observed until calving or abortion after which they were euthanized, and necropsied. Bacteriological and histological examinations were conducted on lymph nodes, reproductive tract, mammary gland, and internal organs. Terminal serum samples from calves and cows were evaluated by card, rivanol precipitation, standard tube agglutination, cold complement fixation tube, indirect bison conjugated enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), competitive ELISA, and particle-concentration fluorescence immunoassay. No clinical signs of brucellosis were seen in bison inoculated with B. suis biovar 4, and infection was found only in lymph nodes of two animals. There was no evidence of metastasis of this organism to the mammary gland or the reproductive tract. There were no detectable levels of antibodies to Brucella spp. in terminal blood samples taken from B. suis biovar 4-challenged bison. Brucella abortus was isolated from several tissues in all control bison. All B. abortus-challenged animals developed uterine infection and five developed mammary gland infection. Reproductive disease resulted in abortions in five B. abortus-challenged bison and neonatal death in the remaining calf. Brucella suis biovar 4 does not appear to be pathogenic for bison.

  3. Davis, D.S., J.W. Templeton, T.A. Ficht, J.D. Williams, J.D. Kopec, and L.G. Adams. 1995. Response to the critique of brucellosis in captive bison. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 31(1): 111-114.

    Abstract Not Available

  4. Forbes, L.B., and Tessaro, S.V. 1996. Infection of cattle with Brucella abortus biovar 1 isolated from a bison in Wood Buffalo National Park. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 37: 415.

    Abstract Not Available

  5. Gates, C.C., B.T. Elkin, and D.C. Dragon. 1995. Investigation, control and epizootiology of anthrax in a geographically isolated, free-roaming bison population in northern Canada. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research - Revue Canadienne de Recherche Veterinaire 59(4): 256-264.

    Abstract: In July 1993 anthrax caused significant mortality in an isolated, free-ranging population of bison (Bos bison athabascae) west of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, There was no previous record of anthrax in this area, An emergency response was undertaken to reduce the scale of environmental contamination and dissemination of anthrax spores and hence to reduce the likelihood of future outbreaks. One-hundred-and-seventy-two bison, 3 moose (Alces alces), and 3 black bear (Ursus americanus) carcasses were found, Visual detection of carcasses was enhanced with the use of an airborne, remote infrared sensing camera mounted externally on a helicopter, Fifty-five percent of the carcasses were located in forested or shrub- covered sites where detection would not have been likely without the thermal imaging equipment, Carcasses were disposed of by incineration and the sites were decontaminated with formaldehyde. Application of formaldehyde to carcasses prevented scavenging, The outbreak occurred after a prolonged period of drying between April and mid-July 1993 which followed several successive years of flooding of bison habitat, The ''spore concentration hypothesis'' provides the most conservative explanation for the occurrence of anthrax under the observed conditions.

  6. Jensen, A.E., N.F. Cheville, D.R. Ewalt, J.B. Payeur, and C.O. Thoen. 1995. Application of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for differentiation of vaccine strain RB51 from field isolates of Brucella abortus from cattle, bison, and elk. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 56(3): 308-312.

    Abstract: Restriction endonuclease patterns of genomic fragments separated by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were used to differentiate Brucella abortus strain RB51, a rifampin-resistant mutant of the standard virulent strain 2308, from other brucellae. Results were compared with results obtained by use of standard methods for characterizing brucellae. Electrophoretic patterns of the ATCC type strains allowed identification of the strains to the level of species. Genomic profiles of B abortus biovars 1, 2, and 4 were similar, as were those of biovars 5, 6, and 9. The profile of biovar 3 was similar to that of biovars 5, 6, and 9, except for a missing band at 93 kb and additional bands at 65 and 67 kb. A different fingerprint was detected in B abortus strain RB51, using the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of genomic DNA digested with restrictive endonuclease Xba I. The profile of B abortus strain RB51 contained a band at 104 kb, as opposed to a 109-kb fragment within profiles of B abortus isolates from naturally infected cattle, bison, and elk. Despite known biochemical and biological differences between RB51 and its parent strain (2308), restriction endonuclease analysis results were similar.

  7. Li, H., D.T. Shen, D. O'Toole, W.C. Davis, D.P. Knowles, J.R. Gorham, and T.B. Crawford. 1996. Malignant catarrhal fever virus. Characterization of a United States isolate and development of diagnostic assays. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 791: 198-210.

    Abstract: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a severe lymphoproliferative disease of certain domestic and wild ruminants. Two distinct but closely related viruses cause clinically indistinguishable syndromes in susceptible ruminant species: wildebeest- associated MCF virus (WA-MCFV) and sheep-associated MCF virus (SA-MCFV). Neither the pathogenesis nor the epidemiology of SA- MCF is understood, primarily because of a lack of adequate detection methods for the etiologic agent or antibody against that agent. Work designed to develop these tests has been under way in our laboratory. To obtain basic information about the virus, the in vitro growth properties of a US isolate of MCF virus were studied and its major viral proteins identified and characterized by a panel of monoclonal antibodies generated against the isolate. A monoclonal antibody to a broadly conserved epitope of MCF virus was identified, and a competitive-inhibition ELISA (CI-ELISA) was developed for detection of anti-MCF antibody in sheep and other ruminants. The monoclonal antibody (15-A) reacted with an epitope located on a glycoprotein complex, which was present in all isolates of MCF virus examined. Antibody from a wide variety of ruminants infected with MCF virus of both sheep and wildebeest origin competed with the monoclonal antibody 15-A for the epitope, which was not present on 14 other common ruminant viruses. The assay detected antibody in inapparently infected sheep, and in cattle, deer, and bison with clinical MCF. A PCR assay for DNA of the sheep-associated virus was developed, based on previously reported primers. Comparative studies demonstrated that the CI-ELISA was specific for MCFV antibody and that the PCR was more reliable for diagnosis of clinical MCF.

  8. Marley, S.E., S.E. Knapp, M.C. Rognlie, J.R. Thompson, T.M. Stoppa, S.M. Button, S. Wetzlich, T. Arndt, and A. Craigmill. 1995. Efficacy of ivermectin pour-on against Ostertagia ostertagi infection and residues in the American bison, Bison bison. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 31(1): 62-65.

    Abstract: Sixteen American bison, Bison bison, were artificially infected with 10(5) infective stage larvae of Ostertagia ostertagi on 21 April 1993. At 42 days post-infection eight bison were treated with 0.5% ivermectin pour-on (500 mu g/kg bodyweight) and eight treated with the carrier only. Bison were necropsied 17 and 18 days post- treatment (21 and 22 June 1993, respectively). Mean (+/-SE) of 5,413 (+/-1,716) adults and 565 (+/-305) immature O. ostertagi were recovered at necropsy from bison treated with the carrier. No O. ostertagi were detected in bison treated with ivermectin pour-on. Based on the levels of the ivermectin marker metabolite in liver and adipose tissue 18 days post-treatment, the established bovine withdrawal time of 48 days appears adequate to insure that violative residues do not occur.

  9. Meyer, M.E., and M. Meagher. 1995. Brucellosis in captive bison. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 31(1): 106-110.

    Abstract Not Available

  10. Meyer, M.E., and M. Meagher. 1995. Brucellosis in free-ranging bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Wood Buffalo National Parks: A review. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 31: 579-598.

    Abstract Not Available

  11. Olsen, S.C., N.F. Cheville, R.A. Kunkle, M.V. Palmer, and A.E. Jensen. 1997. Bacterial survival, lymph node pathology, and serological responses of bison (Bison bison) vaccinated with Brucella abortus strain RB51 or strain 19. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 33: 146-151.

    Abstract: From August 1993 to June 1994, 3 month-old bison (Bison bison) were vaccinated with Brucella abortus strain RB51 (SRB51, n = 6), strain 19 (S19, n = 3), or with saline (n = 1) and serologic responses and persistence of vaccine strains within lymph nodes were monitored. Bison vaccinated with S19 had granulomatous lymphadenitis and greater peak numbers of B. abortus than those vaccinated with SRB51. Bison vaccinated with RB51 had similar histological lesions and B. abortus were still present in lymph nodes at 16 weeks. Although antibodies against RB51 were produced, standard tube agglutination test responses of RB51-vaccinates remained negative. The histological lesions of B. abortus infections in bison were similar to those observed in cattle, but bison did not clear SRB51 as rapidly as cattle.

  12. O'Reilly, L.M., and C.J. Daborn. 1995. The epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis infections in animals and man: a review. Tubercle and Lung Disease. 76 Suppl 1: 1-46.

    Abstract: Tuberculosis is primarily a respiratory disease and transmission of infection within and between species is mainly by the airborne route. Mycobacterium bovis, the cause of bovine-type tuberculosis, has an exceptionally wide host range. Susceptible species include cattle, humans, non-human primates, goats, cats dogs, pigs, buffalo, badgers, possums, deer and bison. Many susceptible species, including man, are spillover hosts in which infection is not self-maintaining. In countries where there is transmission of infection from endemically infected wildlife populations to cattle or other farmed animals, eradication is not feasible and control measures must be applied indefinitely. Possible methods of limiting spread of infection from wildlife to cattle including the use of vaccines are outlined. The usefulness of DNA fingerprinting of M. bovis strains as an epidemiological tool and of BCG vaccination of humans and cattle as a control measure are reviewed. The factors determining susceptibility to infection and clinical disease, and the infectiousness of infected hosts and transmission of infection, are detailed. Reports of the epidemiology of M. bovis infections in man and a variety of animal species are reviewed. M. bovis infection was recognised as a major public health problem when this organism was transmitted to man via milk from infected cows. The introduction of pasteurization helped eliminate this problem. Those occupational groups working with M. bovis infected cattle or deer, on the farm or in the slaughter house, are more likely to develop pulmonary disease than alimentary disease. In recent years, tuberculosis in farmed cervidae has become a disease of economic as well as public health importance in several countries. Nowadays, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with a greatly increased risk of overt disease in humans infected with Myobacterium tuberculosis. It is believed this increased risk also occurs in the case of M. bovis infections in humans.

  13. Palmer, M.V., S.C. Olsen, M.J. Gilsdorf, L.M. Philo, P.R. Clarke, and N.F, Cheville. 1996. Abortion and placentitis in pregnant bison (Bison bison) induced by the vaccine candidate, Brucella abortus strain RB51. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 57: 1604-1607.

    Abstract: Objective-To determine the ability of Brucella abortus strain RB51 to induce placentitis and abortion in bison after SC vaccination. Animals-10 pregnant bison cows, 3 to 10 years old and at 3 to 8 months gestation. Procedure-Pregnant bison cows on a Montana ranch were vaccinated SC with 10^(9) colony-forming units of B. abortus strain RB51. Two cows, identified prior to the study, were euthanatized and examined 5 weeks alter vaccination to obtain optimal histologic samples of placenta. Other cows were euthanatized and examined after abortion. After euthanasia, tissue specimens were collected for histologic and immunohistochemical evaluation. Tissue and fluid specimens for bacteriologic culture were also collected during necropsy. Results-Of 8 cows, 2 aborted at 68 and 107 days after vaccination. Aborting cows had endometritis. Strain RB51 was isolated from reproductive tissues and supramammary lymph nodes. Fetal lesions were not seen; however, fetal bronchial lymph nodes and amniotic fluid contained strain RB51. Cows examined 5 weeks after vaccination had placentitis and endometritis, with numerous bacteria within trophoblastic epithelial cell that were immunoreactive for strain RB51 antigen. Strain RB51 was isolated from placentomes and numerous lymph nodes. Fetal lesions were not seen 5 weeks after vaccination; however, strain RB51 was isolated from numerous lymph nodes and lung, allantoic fluid, and rectal swab specimens. Conclusions-The vaccine candidate B. abortus RB51 has tropism for the bison placenta, and can cause placentitis, which induces abortion in pregnant bison. The vaccine dose used was similar to that being tested in cattle, but may not be appropriate for pregnant bison.

  14. Rutberg, A.T., and P.N. Klein. 1996. Opposing view on elimination of brucellosis reservoir [letter] Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 208: 1380.

    Abstract not available

  15. Taylor, S.K., V.M. Lane, D.L. Hunter, K.G. Eyre, S. Kaufman, S. Frye, and M.R. Johnson. 1997. Serologic survey for infectious pathogens in free-ranging American bison. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 33: 308-311.

    Abstract: From November 1991 through March 1992, we evaluated 101 free-ranging American bison (Bison bison) from Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (USA) for exposure to infectious organisms that commonly infect cattle. No titers were detected for bluetongue virus, bovine leukemia virus, or Campylobacter fetus in these 101 bison. Detectable antibodies occurred against Anaplasma marginale (eight of 76, 11%), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (31 of 101, 31%), bovine viral diarrhea (31 of 101, 31%), bovine herpesvirus 1 (29 of 76, 38%), Leptospira interrogans icterohaemorrhagiae (four of 101, 4%), L. interrogans hardjo (seven of 101, 7%), L. interrogans autumnalis (one of 101, 1%), L. interrogans bratislava (seven of 101, 7%), L. interrogans australis (one of 101, 1%), and parainfluenza 3 virus (27 of 75, 36%). The low antibody titers and the lack of gross lesions are evidence that while previous exposure to infectious organisms may have occurred, none appeared to have active infections.

  16. Thorne, T. 1996. Beating brucellosis. Wyoming wildlife. 60 (9): 17

    Abstract Not Available

  17. Winter, A.J., G.G. Schurig, S.M. Boyle, N. Sriranganathan, J.S. Bevins, F.M. Enright, P.H. Elzer, and J.D. Kopec. 1996. Protection of BALB/c mice against homologous and heterologous species of Brucella by rough strain vaccines derived from Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis biovar 4. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 57: 677-83.

    Abstract: OBJECTIVE--To evaluate stable rough mutants derived from Brucella melitensis 16M and B. suis 2579 (biovar 4) as vaccines against homologous and heterologous Brucella spp in the BALB/c mouse model. DESIGN, ANIMALS, AND PROCEDURE--Rough mutants VTRM1 and VTRS1 were obtained from B. melitensis 16M and B. suis 2579, respectively, by allelic exchange of rfbU gene encoding mannosyltransferase with a Tn5-disrupted rfbU gene. Mice were vaccinated with VTRM1 or VTRS1 and challenge exposed 8 weeks later. RESULTS--VTRM1 and VTRS1 replicated extensively in the spleen during the first 3 weeks of infection, then decreased rapidly. Antibodies specific for the O polysaccharide were not detected in sera of mice inoculated with either rough strain. Vaccination with VTRM1 or VTRS1 induced protection against virulent strains of B. abortus (2308), B. melitensis (16M), B.suis biovar 1 (750), and B. suis biovar 4 (2579). VTRM1 also protected against B. ovis (PA) and against 4 field isolates of B abortus from bison or elk. VTRS1 conferred protection against 4 field isolates of B. suis biovar 4 from reindeer. Vaccines prepared from live VTRM1 or VTRS1 provided significantly greater protection than that afforded by vaccines of killed cells in QS-21 adjuvant. Vaccination with VTRM1 containing VTRS1 gave minimal protection against the antigenically unrelated Listeria monocytogenes, thus demonstrating the immunologic specificity of protection against Brucella spp. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE--Results encourage evaluation, in primary host species, of VTRM1 and VTRS1, along with RB51, as alternative vaccines to strain 19, Rev 1, or other smooth phase vaccines.

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