Five kudus ( Tragelaphus strepsiceros), three bulls and two cows, within
the Greater Kruger National Park complex, were diagnosed with
generalized tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis. The lesions
seen in these animals were similar to those previously reported in kudus
and included severe tuberculous lymphadenitis of the nodes of the head
and neck (that resulted in noticeable uni- or bilateral swelling beneath
the ear), thorax, and the mesentery. All the animals also suffered from
severe granulomatous pneumonia. The lesions in the lungs were more
severe cranially and had a miliary distribution elsewhere in the lungs.
Based on the DNA patterns of the M. bovis isolates, at least some of
these kudus were infected with strains commonly present in tuberculous
buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, and baboons in the Park whereas other
strains from these kudus were quite different and may reflect another
source of infection. The presence of tuberculous kudus in the Park is
expected to complicate control measures that may be instituted to
contain or eradicate the disease in the Park.
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