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PARATUBERCULOSIS (Johne's disease) is a chronic infectious disease of domestic and wild ruminants. It is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). The host range of MAP includes domestic ruminants, such as cattle, sheep and goat; however, Johne's disease has also been reported in wild ruminants, such as red deer (Tiwari and others 2006), elk (Manning and others 2003) and white-tailed deer (de Lisle and others 1993). The disease causes significant economic losses in domestic livestock and is an important infection of farmed cervids (Manning and Collins 2001).
Compared with the traditional livestock or captive wild ruminants, the reports of clinical or subclinical MAP infection in free-ranging wild ruminants are infrequent (Quist and others 2002). Among the free-ranging wild ruminants, clinical paratuberculosis has been diagnosed in free-ranging red deer (Glawischnig and others 2006), fallow deer (Marco and others 2002), white-tailed deer (Sleeman and others 2009) and farmed deer (Power and others 1993, de Lisle and others 2003). In Korea, elks are raised for a variety of purposes, including antler production for …