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Top Companion Anim Med. 2018 Dec;33(4):119-121. doi: 10.1053/j.tcam.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Mycobacterium genavense Infection in a Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

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Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna (IZSLER), 25124 Brescia, Italy.. Electronic address:
Giuseppe Biscontini and Karen Kamphuisen Veterinary Clinic. 42024 Castelnovo di sotto (RE), Italy.
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna (IZSLER), 25124 Brescia, Italy.


Mycobacterium genavense infection was diagnosed in an adult ferret with ptosis of the left eye, a proliferative lesion of the conjunctiva of the nictitating membrane, conjunctival swelling, and tumefaction of the periorbital tissues with a watery ocular discharge and the presence of a retrobulbar mass. The diagnosis was based on characteristic cytology of the retrobulbar mass and left mandibular lymph node that revealed granulomatous inflammation. Ziehl-Neelsen staining showed the presence of positive acid-fast bacilli in the cytoplasm of the macrophages. The diagnosis was confirmed by sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene amplified by using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction from a fresh lymph node biopsy. Therapy with marbofloxacin, rifampicin, and clarithromycin was recommended for 6 months and after this period, the veterinarian who was treating the ferret reported the disappearance of clinical signs. Six months after the end of the antibiotic treatment, the symptoms described previously reoccurred. Confirmatory laboratory tests were not performed but a recurrence of M genavense infection was suspected and the veterinarian, in agreement with the owner, euthanized the ferret.


ferret; lymphadenopathy; mycobacteriosis; mycobacterium genavense; ocular discharge

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