Print E-mail
Volume 45, Number 6, December 2012

Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis infection in Feedlot Deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei and C. nippon taiouanus) in Taiwan

Chi-Shih Chu, Chang-You Yu, Chien-Tung Chen, Yao-Chi Su

Received: March 7, 2011    Revised: August 4, 2011    Accepted: October 13, 2011   


Corresponding author:
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Graduate Institute and Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chiayi University, 580 Sing Ming Road, Chiayi 60004, Taiwan, ROC
  • Corresponding Author InformationCorresponding author. Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chiayi University, 580 Sing Ming Road, Chiayi 60004, Taiwan, ROC


Background and purpose: 

Mycobacterium bovis frequently infects wild and farm deer species with tuberculosis. This study investigated mycobacterial infection in two native deer species Cervus unicolor swinhoei (Formosan Sambar, Sambar) and C. nippon taiouanus(Formasan Sika, Sika).



Based on different sampling sources of 19 intradermal tuberculin test (ITT) Sambar, mycobacterial infection and/or species were detected by acid-fast stain, duplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and multiplex nested PCR (mnPCR) methods, traditional mycobacterial culture and gross lesion. Blood samples of 167 Sambar deer and 147 Sika deer were then tested by duplex PCR and mnPCR methods to investigate the prevalence of mycobacterial infection. Sequence variations of these mycobacterial species were analyzed as well.



Duplex PCR and mnPCR assays could differentiate between MTBC (M. bovis and M. tuberculosis) and M. avium, as well as between M. bovis and M. tuberculosis, respectively. These PCR methods showed a higher detection rate than traditional culture and matched the gross lesions examined in 19 ITT-examined Sambar. Therefore, the mycobacterial infection in blood samples of 314 deer samples was detected using these PCR methods. Duplex PCR and mnPCR showed an identical prevalence of 16.1% in Sambar and 8.2% in Sika and a significant difference in prevalence between these two deer species.M. bovis and M. tuberculosis were the species detected in feedlot Sambar and Sika. M. tuberculosis was found only and first in Sambar fed in central Taiwan. Sequence analysis revealed diverse genetic variations in M. bovis and M. tuberculosisassociated with deer subspecies.



Multiplex PCR methods were established, and M. bovis and M. tuberculosis were identified in feedlot deer in Taiwan. Sequence variations indicated diverse sources of both mycobacterial species.


Key words:

Cervus nippon taiouanusCervus unicolor swinhoeiMycobacteria spp.Polymerase chain reactionSequence analysis