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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 May;34(3):267-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2010.12.004. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Molecular identification and characterization of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in free living non-human primate (Rhesus macaques) from North India.

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Veterinary Microbiology Laboratory, Animal Health Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, PO - Farah 281 122, Mathura, UP, India.


In recent years, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) has emerged as major animal pathogen with significant zoonotic concerns, worldwide. MAP infection is endemic in domestic and wild ruminant population in India. However, information on MAP infection in free ranging animal species and non human primates is limited. Present study aimed to estimate the status of MAP infection in free living Rhesus macaques suffering with multiple clinical conditions (coughing and loose stool). A total of 25 stool samples were collected from six colonies of Rhesus macaques from Mathura region (North India) and screened for the presence of MAP, using microscopic examination and IS900 PCR, directly from stool samples. PCR positive DNA samples were further genotyped using IS1311 PCR-restriction enzyme analysis. Of the 25 stool samples, 10 (40.0%) and 2 (8.0%) were positive for MAP using microscopic examination and direct IS900 PCR, respectively. IS900 PCR positive DNA samples were genotyped as 'Indian Bison type', which is a major MAP genotype infecting domestic and wild ruminant species and human beings in India. Prevalence of MAP in Rhesus macaques (Indian monkeys) was moderately high and confirmed interspecies sharing of MAP between domestic livestock and non-human primates. Presence of MAP in non-human primates, support the etiological role of MAP in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Indian monkeys may serve as model for understanding the role of non-human primates in sustenance, transmission and pathogenesis of MAP infection.

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