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David Sparks Ph.d Big Horn Pneumonia
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: May 09, 2019

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Big Horn sheep lovers always want to accuse domestic sheepherders and domestic sheep for spreading pneumonia to populations of big horns. Talk to a rancher who runs sheep for a living and he will tell you that is a bunch of hysterical talk and there really is not whole lot of contact between big horns and their domestic herds to justify all of the finger-pointing. But the bottom line is that domestic sheep have been solely accuse of infecting bighorns with pneumonia. Hold the press. Some research conducted by the USDA's Dr. Margaret Highland and her team have found that the bacteria causing pneumonia in sheep can also be found in other species. “One of the bacteria that is associated with big horn sheep pneumonia, that being the bacterium mycoplasma ovipneumoniae was long thought to only infect sheep and goats wild and domestic, and then musk ox are in that family also. So subfamily caprinae it's actually a subfamily taxonomically it’s caprinae subfamily. So the USDA, my laboratory within the animal disease research unit began looking at other species and began a study with Alaska also looking at their ungulates. And we have also found mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in Capriolanae which are the deer family and that's caribou, moose, white tailed deer, mule deer. That's all the species.”

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