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Article

Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals

1
Wilhelma Zoological-Botanical Gardens Stuttgart, Wilhelma 13, D-70376 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Microbiology and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Georg-August-University, Burckhardtweg 2, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
3
Institute for Microbiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hannover, Germany
4
Institute of Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 43, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
RIP.
Senior authorship.
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030117
Received: 22 July 2020 / Revised: 13 August 2020 / Accepted: 19 August 2020 / Published: 23 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycobacterial Infections in Livestock, Companion, and Wild Animals)
Background: Mycobacteria of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) pose a significant risk to zoological collections. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a member of MAC and the causative agent of Johne’s disease. Despite many reports in animals kept in zoological gardens, systemic surveillance has rarely been reported. Methods: In this study, archived serum samples collected from animal species at the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Stuttgart, Germany, were screened for the presence of antibodies against MAC and MAP. In addition, molecular investigations were performed on necropsy, fecal, and environmental samples. Results: In total, 30/381 serum samples of various mammalian species were positive for MAC antibodies in ELISA, while one sample of a reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) was positive in MAP-specific ELISA. Samples from many species were positive in pan-Mycobacterium real-time PCR (40/43 fecal samples, 27/43 environmental samples, and 31/90 necropsy samples). Surprisingly, no sample was positive in the MAP-specific molecular assays. However, two environmental samples from primate enclosures were positive in Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis (MAH)-specific real-time PCR. Conclusions: The results reveal serological indications of MAC infections in the zoological collection. However, the presence of a MAP-contaminated environment by a high-shedding individual animal or MAP-infected population is unlikely. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; Johne’s disease; paratuberculosis; Mycobacterium avium complex; zoo animals; serological assays; molecular assays; surveillance; monitoring Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; Johne’s disease; paratuberculosis; Mycobacterium avium complex; zoo animals; serological assays; molecular assays; surveillance; monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Roller, M.; Hansen, S.; Böhlken-Fascher, S.; Knauf-Witzens, T.; Czerny, C.-P.; Goethe, R.; Abd El Wahed, A. Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals. Vet. Sci. 2020, 7, 117. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030117

AMA Style

Roller M, Hansen S, Böhlken-Fascher S, Knauf-Witzens T, Czerny C-P, Goethe R, Abd El Wahed A. Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals. Veterinary Sciences. 2020; 7(3):117. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030117

Chicago/Turabian Style

Roller, Marco, Sören Hansen, Susanne Böhlken-Fascher, Tobias Knauf-Witzens, Claus-Peter Czerny, Ralph Goethe, and Ahmed Abd El Wahed. 2020. "Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals" Veterinary Sciences 7, no. 3: 117. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030117

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