Emerging Zoonotic Disease

The prevalance of mycobacteriosis is higher than thought

Feline mycobacteriosis, specifically those infections involving Mycobacterium species belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis-complex group, is an emerging zoonotic disease (one that can be spread from animals to humans) that is difficult to definitively diagnose. Feline mycobacteriosis includes tuberculosis and mycobacterial infections of wounds.

“Given its zoonotic potential and recent evidence that suggests that its prevalence in the domestic feline population is significantly higher than previously thought— 1% of all biopsies submitted for histologic evaluation have evidence of mycobacterial infection—improved methods of diagnosing mycobacteriosis in cats would be impactful,” says Bruce Kornreich DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Director of the Cornell Feline Health Center.

A recent study proposes a panel of cytokine/chemokine assays that may be useful in discriminating those Mycobacterial infections that have zoonotic potential from those that do not. While further work is needed to validate the diagnostic usefulness of this assay, this study lays the groundwork for a potential improvement in our ability to diagnose these diseases.n

Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 23;8(1):17314. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35571-5.