Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology


Mycobacterium Avium is the major cause of tuberculosis in swine (53). The natural reservoir of this organism is assumed to be birds, particularly poultry. Federal meat inspection records show that efforts to reduce tuberculosis in poultry over the last 55 years have resulted in an accompanying decline of tuberculosis in swine (54). Studies have shown, however, that M. avium infection in swine cannot always be traced to birds, and the disease is common in those regions where tuberculosis in poultry is rare (53). Also serotypes not normally pathogenic for birds are commonly isolated from swine (40, 51, 53). Indeed, many swine farms today appear to have recurring tuberculosis with no obvious source of infection. Sources of infection other than poultry need to be identified and their importance determined. In the past, swine were not considered to be an important source of infection among themselves. Results of limited studies have shown that there is a possibility that swine can acquire mycobacterial infections from infected penmates (15, 35,,54). The study presented here was designed to: 1. Determine if infected swine can transmit M. avium to uninfected penmates, 2. Provide information as to possible mechanisms of transmission, and 3. Determine how soon after exposure swine become infected and how long an animal remains infected and a source of infection.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Tuberculosis in swine



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University