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Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012

Research

Causes of Pneumonia Epizootics among Bighorn Sheep, Western United States, 2008–2010

Thomas E. BesserComments to Author , Margaret A. Highland, Katherine Baker, E. Frances Cassirer, Neil J. Anderson, Jennifer M. Ramsey, Kristin Mansfield, Darren L. Bruning, Peregrine Wolff, Joshua B. Smith, and Jonathan A. Jenks
Author affiliations: Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA (T.E. Besser, M.A. Highland, K. Baker); Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Pullman (T.E. Besser); US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Pullman (M.A. Highland); Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Lewiston, Idaho, USA (E.F. Cassirer); Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Bozeman, Montana, USA (N.J. Anderson, J.M. Ramsey); Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Spokane Valley, Washington, USA (K. Mansfield); US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Olympia, Washington, USA (D.L. Bruning); Nevada Department of Wildlife, Reno, Nevada, USA (P. Wolff); South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA (J.B. Smith, J.A. Jenks)

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Table 3

Prevalence of organisms in bighorn sheep, western United States, 2008–2010*

Population No. tested No. (%) detected
Bibersteinia trehalosi Mannheimia haemolytica Pasteurella multocida lktA Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae
Affected during epizootic
East Fork Bitterroot, MT 5 3† 1 4 2 4
Anaconda, MT 5 5 5 5 0 5
Bonner, MT 6 2 2 0 0 6
Lower Rock Creek, MT 4 3 3 3 0 3
East Humboldt and Ruby Mountains, NV 6 6 5 0 1 6
Spring Creek, SD 5 5 3 4 3 5
Yakima Canyon, WA 8 5 4 5 0 8
Hells Canyon, OR and WA 5 5 2 0 4 5
Total 44 34 (77.3) 25 (56.8) 21 (47.7) 10 (22.7) 42 (95.5)
Healthy during epizootic
Yakima Canyon, WA 6 5 3 0 1 2
Bonner, MT 1 0 0 0 0 1
Spring Creek, SD 1 1 1 0 0 0
Total 8 6 (75.0) 4 (50.0) 0 1 (12.5) 3 (37.5)
Healthy, no epizootic
Quilomene, WA 3 1 3 0 0 0
Hells Canyon (Asotin Creek), OR and WA 2 2 1 1 0 0
Total 5 3 (60) 4 (80) 1 (20) 0 0

*Organisms detected by PCR and/or aerobic culture. MT, Montana; NV, Nevada; SD, South Dakota; WA, Washington; OR, Oregon.
†Number of bighorn sheep tested in which the given agent was detected by PCR and/or bacteriologic culture.

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