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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #304870

Research Project: PREVENTION AND CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR TUBERCULOSIS IN CATTLE AND WILDLIFE RESERVOIRS

Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Mycobacterium bovis infection in humans and cats in same household, Texas, USA, 2012

Author
item Ramdas, Kira - Just Cats Veterinary Services
item Lyashchenko, Konstantin - Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc
item Greenwald, Rena - Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc
item Robbe-austerman, Suelee - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Mcmanis, Cynthia - Just Cats Veterinary Services
item Waters, Wade

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2014
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60603
Citation: Ramdas, K.E., Lyashchenko, K.P., Greenwald, R., Robbe-Austerman, S., McManis, C., Waters, W.R. 2015. Mycobacterium bovis infection in humans and cats in same household, Texas, USA, 2012. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 21(3):480-483.

Interpretive Summary: Bovine tuberculosis primarily affects cattle and several wildlife reservoirs of the disease. Household pets, such as cats and dogs, are rarely diagnosed with tuberculosis. Prior to highly successful control efforts within the US and continental Europe, the primary cause of tuberculosis in cats was Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis. Transmission was primarily via ingestion of M. bovis contaminated milk. However, with successful control efforts and wide-scale pasteurization of milk and other dairy products, infection of cats with M. bovis is exceedingly rare. In the present study, we describe a case of tuberculosis in a household of cats and humans caused by M. bovis. Also, the use of serology for diagnosis of tuberculosis in cats is described. These findings highlight the risk to humans and cats of tuberculosis due to M. bovis and describe the complexities of diagnosing this disease, especially in cats.

Technical Abstract: Mycobacterium bovis infection of cats is exceedingly rare in non-endemic regions for bovine tuberculosis. This case study describes the diagnosis and clinical management of pulmonary M. bovis infection in two indoor-housed cats and their association with at least one M. bovis-infected human in Texas, USA. Tuberculosis in humans and animals results from infection by bacilli within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (1). Despite ~99.95% genome sequence identity, M. bovis and M. tuberculosis exhibit distinct differences in host adaptation and susceptibility (2). Mycobacterium bovis is the primary causative agent of bovine tuberculosis and infects a wider range of hosts as compared to M. tuberculosis. Tuberculosis in domestic cats (Felis catus) is primarily due to infection with M. bovis or M. microti (i.e., the vole bacillus) (3, 4, 5,); M. tuberculosis infection is less common (6). Prior to implementation of bovine tuberculosis control programs and wide-scale pasteurization of milk, alimentary tract disease was the most common form of tuberculosis in cats (7) whereas lymphadenopathy and cutaneous forms are currently more common (4). Diagnosis is based upon clinical exam, imaging, biopsy with histopathology including M. tuberculosis complex specific PCR and staining for acid fast bacilli (AFB), culture of aspirates or tissues, and specific immune-based blood assays such as interferon gamma release assays and serology (4, 8, 9). Intradermal skin tests are generally unreliable for diagnosis of tuberculosis in cats, and mycobacterial culture of aspirates or tissues is considered the gold standard method of diagnosis (10). Client history is critical for determining the possibility for exposure of the cat to the pathogen and zoonotic aspects should be considered (11). The present case study describes the diagnosis and clinical management of pulmonary M. bovis infection in two indoor-housed cats and their association with at least one M. bovis-infected human in Texas, USA.