WPR News
2:05 pm
Wed October 6, 2004

Campbell County Brucellosis Cases Still A Mystery

Gillette, WY – Questions continue to swirl around the Campbell county brucellosis cases. The federal veterinarian in charge of Wyoming says he no longer believed they are "true field infections," like the previous cases in Sublette and Teton counties. Doctor Bret Combs says there were doubts from the start because brucellosis hasn't been documented in northeastern Wyoming elk and there was no evidence of a cattle source. Combs says when D-N-A from the infected cows was compared to other infections from across the country, they found an almost identical match to a case in South Dakota bison from eight years ago. He says such a match shouldn't happen because the brucellosis bacteria D-N-A changes over time. A review of laboratory procedures from where the Campbell county cows tested positive found it was unlikely a lab error occurred. Combs doubts officials will ever find a definitive answer to the Campbell county infections.