, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 1405-1410

Soil and Plant Contamination with Mycobacterium Avium subsp. Paratuberculosis After Exposure to Naturally Contaminated Mouflon Feces

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The aim of this study was to demonstrate the persistence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in soil and colonization of different plant parts after deliberate exposure to mouflon feces naturally contaminated with different amounts of MAP. Samples of aerial parts of plants, their roots, and the soil below the roots were collected after 15 weeks and examined using IS900 real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and cultivation. Although the presence of viable MAP cells was not demonstrated, almost all samples were found to be positive using qPCR. MAP IS900 was not only found in the upper green parts, but also in the roots and soil samples (from 1.00 × 100 to 6.43 × 103). The level of soil and plant contamination was influenced mainly by moisture, clay content, and the depth from which the samples were collected, rather than by the initial concentration of MAP in the feces at the beginning of the experiment.