Mycobacteria. Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences Monographs

Chris Collins
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This is the first study in Uganda to document that other mycobacterial species are involved in cattle infections and also reports the spoligotypes of M. Earlier identification studies were mainly based on colonial and biochemical characteristics [ 1 ]. Many thousands of cattle were examined during the nine month study period, still only 61 animals with macroscopic lesions compatible with bovine tuberculosis were detected. The low number of lesioned animals reflect the low prevalence of BTB in Uganda [ 27 ] and probably also the low sensitivity of post mortem examinations [ 1 , 5 ].

However, the isolation of M. As documented elsewhere in Africa [ 29 ], pastoralists in Africa in general have an obsessive attachment to their cattle. Their diet mostly of raw milk, fresh blood and occasionally meat could be regarded as potential sources of infection [ 30 ]. In endemic areas where bovine and human tuberculosis coexist, the documentation of the existing strains of M. Two of the M. This documents an existing infection from cattle to humans and further highlights the potential threat of BTB to humans in rural communities [ 26 , 33 — 35 ].

Owing to the difficulties encountered in tracking the origin of these cattle, it was not possible to link them to any specific geographic area. However, spoligotypes found in other African countries [ 7 , 8 , 18 , 20 ] were not detected in Uganda. Comparison of the Ugandan spoligotypes with the M.

Isolation of M.

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In contrast to M. Generalised disease due to MOT is usually uncommon, owing to the non-progressive, chronic character of the infection. However, some cases of disseminated disease have been reported, especially in captive non-domestic hoofed animals and pigs [ 41 ]. The relatively high rate of isolation of MOT The isolation of mycobacteria mostly considered opportunistic or less virulent [ 3 , 42 ] in conditions of disseminated tuberculosis with fully caseated and calcified lesions is documented elsewhere[ 3 ].

These findings could suggest secondary mycobacterial infections or may have outgrown the slow growing M. Isolation of MOT in this study is consistent with earlier findings in pastoral areas, in which high avian and doubtful reactor trends were reported [ 27 ]. Sensitisation of test animals with environmental mycobacteria have been documented as interfering with the interpretation of tuberculin results by affecting sensitivity and specificity [ 44 ]. Many mycobacterial species are ubiquitous organisms in environmental reservoirs; especially in water and soil [ 3 , 42 , 45 — 47 ] and can survive and multiply under a wide range of environmental conditions.

Their recovery from tissues of slaughter animals originating from such areas is indicative of the mycobacterial status of the environment and water sources [ 3 , 45 , 46 ] as well as their potential to cause infection [ 3 ]. In most pastoral areas in Uganda, animals drink from natural water holes, dug out ponds or valley dams or tanks, which are often heavily contaminated with animal waste.

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As documented, water high in organic matter or animal dejections enhances the growth of environmental mycobacteria [ 3 ] and such water constitutes the greatest risk of exposure to humans and animals [ 42 , 48 ]. This study confirmed the presence of M. Furthermore, the study gives an insight into other mycobacterial species infecting cattle in this region and thereby contributes to explaining the high avian or non specific reactor patterns commonly observed in tuberculin tested animals in these areas.

Strong avian reactions in the tuberculin testing scheme reduce the tuberculin test specificity, something that calls for a review of the interpretation of tuberculin tests in pastoral areas. The samples were collected from slaughtered cattle originating from pastoral areas in the cattle corridors of Nakasongola, Luwero, Masindi and Mbarara districts brought to Kalerwe Abattoir, North of Kampala during a nine month period between and It was not possible to trace the place of origin of the animals, due to poor documentation, cattle markets with large overlapping catchment areas spanning many districts and the criss-crossing nature of rural transportation of animals and traders withholding information due to the illegal movement of cattle in areas under quarantine.

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Fat and connective tissue were removed from the specimens and approximately 10 g were placed in sterile stomacher bags containing 30 ml of physiological buffered saline and homogenised in the stomacher machine for 7—10 minutes. After vortexing, the specimens were left at room temperature for 15 min.

Subsequently 5 ml of sterile 0. The supernatant was discarded and the sediment was inoculated on Lowenstein-Jensen Difco Laboratories, Detroit, Michigan media with and without pyruvate 0. Tubes were read weekly for up to 12 weeks. Of the 61 lesioned specimens collected and cultured, 37 grew mycobacteria. Four additional mycobacterial isolates were obtained from apparently normal lymph nodes from a parallel study in the same area.

Typical or suspect colonies were harvested into cryotubes containing 1. San Diego, California as described by the producer. Results were considered positive when Relative Light Units RLU were greater than 30 , repeat range; 20 —29 and negative; below 20 Final results were interpreted as follows; cultures positive on the M.

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Samples negative on all AccuProbe culture identification kits were grouped as unidentified mycobacteria. Cultures belonging to the M. The M. The results were analysed using the BioNumerics programme version3. The BioNumerics software was used to calculate Dice coefficients of similarity and to cluster the isolates and generate dendograms by the unweighted-pair group method using linkage averages.

The optimisation and tolerance settings were both set at2. Cultures identified as M. Msc Thesis Monograph. Res Vet Sci. Vet Res.

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Geneva: Veterinary Public Health Unit. Corner LA: Post mortem diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle. Vet Microbiol. Review of main techniques and applications.

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