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Wildlife
Leprosy in red squirrels in the UK
  1. Anna-Katarina Schilling,
  2. Jorge Del-Pozo,
  3. Peter W. W. Lurz,
  4. Karen Stevenson,
  5. Charlotte Avanzi,
  6. Craig M. Shuttleworth,
  7. Stewart T. Cole and
  8. Anna L. Meredith
  1. Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG
  2. Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
  3. Global Health Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Station 19, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  4. School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW
  5. Institut Pasteur, 25-28 Rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France
  6. University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3010, Melbourne, Australia
  1. e-mail: anna.meredith{at}unimelb.edu.au

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The presence of leprosy in Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) was first described in Scotland in 2014.1

Initially, the causative agent identified was Mycobacterium lepromatosis.1, 2 Consecutive studies demonstrated the presence of M lepromatosis in red squirrels in other areas, including the Isle of Arran, Isle of Wight and the Republic of Ireland. Additionally, an alternative causative agent, Mycobacterium leprae, was identified in red squirrels exclusively on Brownsea Island.3

While it is currently unknown whether M lepromatosis has ever …

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