Mycobacterium bovis infection of cats is exceedingly rare in regions where bovine tuberculosis is not endemic. We describe the diagnosis and clinical management of pulmonary M. bovis infection in 2 indoor-housed cats and their association with at least 1 M. bovis–infected human in Texas, USA, in September 2012.
Tuberculosis in humans and animals results from infection by bacilli within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Despite ≈99.95% genome sequence identity, M. bovis and M. tuberculosis exhibit distinct differences in host adaptation and susceptibility. M. bovis is the primary causative agent of bovine tuberculosis and infects a wider range of hosts than M. tuberculosis. In domestic cats, tuberculosis is caused primarily by infection with M. bovis or M. microti ; M. tuberculosis infection is less common. Before implementation of bovine tuberculosis control programs and wide-scale pasteurization of milk, alimentary tract disease was the most common form of tuberculosis in cats; today, lymphadenopathy and cutaneous forms are more common. Diagnosis is based on clinical examination, imaging, biopsy with histopathologic examination, culture of aspirates or tissues, and specific immune-based blood assays. Intradermal skin tests are generally unreliable for diagnosing tuberculosis in cats. Client history is critical for determining the possibility for exposure of the cat to the pathogen, and zoonotic aspects should be considered.
We describe the diagnosis and clinical management of pulmonary M. bovis infection in 2 indoor-housed cats and their association with at least 1 M. bovis–infected human in Texas, USA. In September 2012, a 5-year-old female domestic cat (cat Y) was seen by a veterinarian for dyspnea, tachypnea, hyporexia, and lethargy. She lived indoors with 4 other cats and their female owner. The vague history provided by cat Y’s owner indicated that, ≈11 months earlier, her husband had died of tuberculosis only 6 weeks after diagnosis and initiation of directly observed antimycobacterial therapy. At the time the husband’s tuberculosis was diagnosed, the woman was Mantoux-test negative; ≈2 months after his death, she converted to skin-test positive but had normal findings on thoracic radiographs. She was subsequently treated with antimycobacterial drugs. The woman also reported that, in June 2012, another cat in the household was euthanized after clinical signs developed that were similar to those of cat Y; no necropsy was performed. Additional pertinent history included relocation of the deceased husband from Mexico to Texas 15 years earlier, frequent contact with recent immigrants from Central America and Mexico, and consumption of unpasteurized Mexican cheeses.
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http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/3/14-0715_article Original web page at Emerging Infectious diseases