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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 Sep;30(5-6):415-25. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

Tuberculosis as a zoonosis from a veterinary perspective.

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Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, 1-17-71, Fuchinobe, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8501, Japan.


Tuberculosis is an important disease among many zoonoses, because both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis, which are the major causes of tuberculosis, are highly pathogenic, infect many animal species and thus are likely to be the source of infection in humans. In particular, monkeys are highly susceptible to these bacteria and are important spreaders. Recently, two outbreaks of M. tuberculosis occurred in four different kinds of monkeys and humans were also infected with the disease in Japan. In zoos, tuberculosis was reported not only in monkeys, but also in several different kinds of animals, including elephants. Pets such as dogs and cats are believed to be generally less susceptible to M. tuberculosis, but in this article we introduce a case of infection from man to dog by close contact. Japan is one of the few countries that have been able to control M. bovis infection. In other countries, however, cases of bovine tuberculosis and human M. bovis infection have been reported, and thus further attention is still required in the future.

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