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Open AccessArticle

Presence of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis Monitored Over Varying Temporal and Spatial Scales in River Catchments: Persistent Routes for Human Exposure

1
Biomedical and Life Sciences Division, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
2
Division of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Dundee, Mailbox 12, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK
3
Lake Ecosystems Group, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster LA1 4AP, UK
4
Centre for Health Informatics, Computing and Statistics (CHICAS), Lancaster Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
5
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(5), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7050136
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria: Emerging Diseases and Health Impacts)
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) was monitored by quantitative PCR over a range of temporal and spatial scales in the River Tywi catchment. This study shows the persistence of Map over a 10-year period with little change, which correlates with the recognised levels of Johne’s disease in British herds over that period (aim 1). Map was quantified within the river at up to 108 cell equivalents L−1 and was shown to be consistently present when monitored over finer timescales (aim 4). Small wastewater treatment plants where the ingress of human-associated Map might be expected had no significant effect (aim 2). Map was found for the first time to be located in natural river foams providing another route for spread via aerosols (aim 5). This study provides evidence for the environmental continuum of Map from the grazing infected animal via rain driven runoff through field drains and streams into main rivers; with detection at a high frequency throughout the year. Should Map need to be monitored in the future, we recommend that weekly or monthly sampling from a fixed location on a river will capture an adequate representation of the flow dynamics of Map in a catchment (aim 3). The human exposure to Map during this process and its impact on human health remains unquantified. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; freshwater environment; Crohn’s disease; catchment Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; freshwater environment; Crohn’s disease; catchment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Richardson, H.; Rhodes, G.; Henrys, P.; Sedda, L.; Weightman, A.J.; Pickup, R.W. Presence of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis Monitored Over Varying Temporal and Spatial Scales in River Catchments: Persistent Routes for Human Exposure. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 136.

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