Acta Vet. Brno 2017, 86: 101-107

Nontuberculous mycobacteria in captive and pet reptiles

Irena Reil, Silvio Špičić, Gordan Kompes, Sanja Duvnjak, Maja Zdelar-Tuk, Dora Stojević, Željko Cvetnić

Croatian Veterinary Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Received May 23, 2016
Accepted February 17, 2017

The aim of this study was to highlight the importance of nontuberculous mycobacteria species in the pathology of various reptilian pet species as well as their epidemiological significance of infection transmission to humans. Faeces samples from six living reptiles and organs from ten carcasses were submitted to bacteriological testing during the years 2003–2015. Positive colonies from one faeces sample and two organs showed the presence of a gene coding 65kDa antigen common for all mycobacteria. Further identification to the species level revealed that the isolates belong to Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis, later subjected to drug susceptibility testing which confirmed high resistance levels in both isolates. In conclusion, there is a great significance of the occurrence of nontuberculous mycobacteria in captive and pet reptiles, presenting reptiles as possible hosts representing a serious threat of transmission of high resistance mycobacterial isolates to humans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of M. avium subsp. hominissuis occurrence in reptiles.


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