Environmental Survival of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Different Climatic Zones of Eastern Australia.

04 April 2016

The duration of survival of both the S and C strains of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in feces was quantified in contrasting climatic zones of New South Wales, Australia, and detailed environmental temperature data were collected. Known concentrations of S and C strains in feces placed on soil in polystyrene boxes were exposed to the environment with or without the provision of shade (70%) at Bathurst, Armidale, Condobolin, and Broken Hill, and subsamples taken every 2 weeks were cultured for the presence of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. The duration of survival ranged from a minimum of 1 week to a maximum of 16 weeks, and the provision of 70% shade was the most important factor in extending the survival time. The hazard of death for exposed compared to shaded samples was 20 and 9 times higher for the S and C strains, respectively. Site did not affect the survival of the C strain, but for the S strain, the hazard of death was 2.3 times higher at the two arid zone sites (Broken Hill and Condobolin) than at the two temperate zone sites (Bathurst and Armidale). Temperature measurements revealed maximum temperatures exceeding 60°C and large daily temperature ranges at the soil surface, particularly in exposed boxes.