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Pathogens 2014, 3(3), 577-595; doi:10.3390/pathogens3030577
Article

Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis: Human Exposure through Environmental and Domestic Aerosols

1
, 2
, 3
, 4
, 5
 and 2,*
1 Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lake Ecosystems Group, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP, UK 2 Faculty of Health and Medicine, Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK 3 Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Franklin-Wilkins Building, King's College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK 4 Cardiff School of Biosciences, Main Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK 5 Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Ashton Road, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4RP, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
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Abstract

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) causes Johne’s disease in animals and is significantly associated with Crohn’s disease (CD) in humans. Our previous studies have shown Map to be present in U.K. rivers due to land deposition from chronic livestock infection and runoff driven by rainfall. The epidemiology of CD in Cardiff showed a significant association with the River Taff, in which Map can be detected on a regular basis. We have previously hypothesized that aerosols from the river might influence the epidemiology of CD. In this preliminary study, we detected Map by quantitative PCR in one of five aerosol samples collected above the River Taff. In addition, we examined domestic showers from different regions in the U.K. and detected Map in three out of 30 independent samples. In detecting Map in river aerosols and those from domestic showers, this is the first study to provide evidence that aerosols are an exposure route for Map to humans and may play a role in the epidemiology of CD.
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; Crohn’s disease; aerosols; rivers; domestic showers; exposure Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; Crohn’s disease; aerosols; rivers; domestic showers; exposure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rhodes, G.; Richardson, H.; Hermon-Taylor, J.; Weightman, A.; Higham, A.; Pickup, R. Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis: Human Exposure through Environmental and Domestic Aerosols. Pathogens 2014, 3, 577-595.

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