Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection as a zoonotic disease: Transmission between humans and elephants

Kathleen Michalak, Connie Austin, Sandy Diesel, J. Maichle Bacon, Phil Zimmerman, Joel N. Maslow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Between 1994 and 1996, three elephants from an exotic animal farm in Illinois died of pulmonary disease due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In October 1996, a fourth living elephant was culture-positive for M. tuberculosis. Twenty-two handlers at the farm were screened for tuberculosis (TB); eleven had positive reactions to intradermal injection with purified protein derivative. One had smear-negative, culture-positive active TB. DNA fingerprint comparison by IS6110 and TBN12 typing showed that the isolates from the four elephants and the handler with active TB were the same strain. This investigation indicates transmission of M. tuberculosis between humans and elephants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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