Disseminated Mycobacterium celatum (type 3) infection in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

M Valheim, B Djønne, R Heiene, D A Caugant
Veterinary Pathology 2001, 38 (4): 460-3
A 4-year-old male ferret (Mustela putoriusfuro) had a 6-month history of weight loss and gradual development of depression and coughing. Necropsy findings included pale gray tissue around the distal trachea, multiple nodules in the lungs, a single nodule in the stomach wall, gray foci in the liver, and enlarged lymph nodes. Histologic examination revealed multifocal to coalescing granulomatous inflammation in the trachea, lungs, stomach, liver, and lymph nodes, with acid-fast bacteria in epithelioid cells and macrophages. The acid-fast bacteria were identified as Mycobacterium celatum (type 3) using DNA sequence analysis of the 16S ribosomal DNA gene. M. celatum is a recently described mycobacterium isolated mainly from immunocompromised humans. This is the first report of M. celatum infection in an animal.

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