Clinicopathologic correlations of tuberculosis in large zoo mammals.

P. C. Mann, M. Bush, D. L. Janssen, E. S. Frank, R. J. Montali

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22 Scopus citations


In August 1978, a black rhinoceros at the National Zoological Park died with generalized tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis. A 2nd black rhinoceros was euthanatized 9 months after M bovis was cultured from its lungs. After these 2 deaths, numerous large zoo mammals that had been potentially exposed were subjected to various procedures to ascertain their status regarding tuberculosis. The procedures were: intradermal tuberculin testing, evaluation of delayed hypersensitivity reaction on biopsy specimens, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing, and culture of various secretions and organs. Several of the animals in this series died during the study. These were necropsied and examined for evidence of mycobacterial infection. The results of tuberculin testing varied from species to species and from site to site within a species. Delayed hypersensitivity responses generally correlated well with the amount of swelling at the tuberculin site. In some cases, however, positive reactions were found without any delayed hypersensitivity response. Results of ELISA testing were confirmatory in tuberculous animals. Several species were judged to be nonspecific reactors, based on positive or suspect tuberculin test results, with negative ELISA results and necropsy findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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