Original Research

A preliminary investigation of tuberculosis and other diseases in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

G. Kalema-Zikusoka, R.G. Bengis, A.L. Michel, M.H. Woodford
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 72, No 2 | a210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v72i2.210 | © 2005 G. Kalema-Zikusoka, R.G. Bengis, A.L. Michel, M.H. Woodford | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 15 September 2005 | Published: 17 September 2005

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G. Kalema-Zikusoka,
R.G. Bengis,
A.L. Michel,
M.H. Woodford,

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Abstract

A survey to determine the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis and certain other infectious diseases was conducted on 42 free-ranging African buffaloes, (Syncerus caffer) from May to June 1997 in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Using the gamma interferon test, exposure to M. bovis was detected in 21.6 % of the buffaloes. One dead buffalo and an emaciated warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) that was euthanased, were necropsied; both had miliary granulomas from which M. bovis was isolated. None of the buffaloes sampled in Sector A of the park, which has no cattle interface, tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (BTB) exposure. The prevalence and distribution of BTB does not appear to have changed significantly since the 1960s, but this may be due to fluxes in the buffalo population. Serological testing for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) demonstrated positive exposure of 57.1% of the buffaloes sampled, with types A, O and SAT 1-3, which is the first known report of FMD antibodies to A and O types in free ranging African buffaloes. Foot-and-mouth disease virus types SAT 1 and SAT 3 were isolated from buffalo probang samples. Two percent of the buffaloes had been exposed to brucellosis. None of the buffaloes tested had antibodies to rinderpest, leptospirosis or Q fever.

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