The survival time of Mycobacterium bovis in the natural habitat of infected free ranging wildlife was investigated. Seven different experimental sites near Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, were selected to expose macroscopically affected lung or lymph node tissue of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) origin and spiked faecal specimens for various lengths of time over a 1-year period. Mycobacterium bovis could be isolated for a maximum period of 6 weeks from tissue specimens and 4 weeks from faeces. The longest survival of M. bovis in both specimen types was observed in winter and under moist conditions. Surprisingly, the survival time of M. bovis in buried specimens seemed greatly reduced to a maximum of 5 days
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