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Outbreak of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium caprae in a zoological garden.

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Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology, Vetinary Faculty, Gerbiceva, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


In the autumn of 2004, tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium caprae occurred in a zoo in Slovenia. A dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) was killed after a history of progressive emaciation. Necropsy findings indicated disseminated tuberculosis, which was confirmed by cultivation of M. caprae. Consequently, a tuberculin skin test was performed in all epidemiologically linked animals and another dromedary camel and six bison (Bison bison) were positive and killed. Mycobacterium caprae was isolated from two bison while M. scrofulaceum and Mycobacterium spp. were found in two other bison, respectively. The second dromedary camel was found to be negative for mycobacteria under both microscopic and culture tests. The isolates were investigated with commercial identification kits, IS6110 PCR, IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units typing. Genotyping results revealed that the dromedary camel and the two bison were infected by the same M. caprae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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