Tests to ID source of northern Michigan herd's bovine TB
Officials are awaiting test results to determine how a small beef cattle herd in northern Michigan became infected with bovine tuberculosis, state veterinarian Nora Wineland said Wednesday.
The animals in the herd were confirmed positive for bovine TB by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories on April 26, according to the release. It is Michigan’s 75th cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB and the first in Presque Isle since 2000.
Wineland said a key part of the information used in the investigation is whole genome sequencing, a test that can identify the DNA of the TB bacteria.
"DNA results are expected by the end of May," she said. "When these results are received, an informational meeting will be held to discuss potential next steps for Presque Isle County, as a result of finding this infected herd.”
Bovine TB primarily affects cattle but can spread between wildlife and other mammals, including humans. The fatal disease is commonly found in whitetail deer in part of the northern Lower Peninsula, state officials said.
Last month, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced it had designated parts of the region's Iosco and Ogemaw counties as a potential high-risk area for the illness after a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Alcona County tested positive.