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Paratuberculosis in wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
  1. A. Greig, BVMS, FRCVS1,
  2. K. Stevenson, BSc, PhD2,
  3. V. Perez, PhD, DVM3,
  4. A. A. Pirie, BSc2,
  5. J. M. Grant, BVMS, CertBR, MRCVS4 and
  6. J. M. Sharp, PhD, BVMS, MRCVS2
  1. 1 SAC Veterinary Services, Cleeve Gardens, Oakbank Road, Perth PH1 1HF
  2. 2 Moredun Research Institute, 408 Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh EH17 7JH
  3. 3 Histologia and Anatomia Patologica, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Leon, Spain
  4. 4 32 York Place, Perth PH2 8EH


A survey of wild rabbits in Tayside, Scotland revealed that 67 per cent were infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. In general, the infected rabbits had histopathological changes within the lymph nodes and intestines which were consistent with the changes due to paratuberculosis in ruminants. The survey raises the possibility that rabbits and other wildlife may be involved in the epidemiology of paratuberculosis, a possibility which has important implications for the control of the disease.

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