Pathology of camel tuberculosis and molecular characterization of its causative agents in pastoral regions of Ethiopia

Gezahegne Mamo, Gizachew Bayleyegn, Tesfaye Sisay Tessema, Mengistu Legesse, Girmay Medhin, Gunnar Bjune, Fekadu Abebe, Gobena Ameni

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38 Citations (Scopus)


A cross sectional study was conducted on 906 apparently healthy camels slaughtered at Akaki and Metehara abattoirs to investigate the pathology of camel tuberculosis (TB) and characterize its causative agents using postmortem examination, mycobacteriological culturing, and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), region of difference-4 (RD4)-based PCR and spoligotyping. The prevalence of camel TB was 10.04% (91/906) on the basis of pathology and it was significantly higher in females (χ2 = 4.789; P = 0.029). The tropism of TB lesions was significantly different among the lymph nodes (χ2 = 22.697; P = 0.002) and lung lobes (χ2 = 17.901; P = 0.006). Mycobacterial growth was observed in 34% (31/91) of camels with grossly suspicious TB lesions. Upon further molecular characterization using multiplex PCR, 68% (21/31) of the colonies showed a positive signal for the genus Mycobacterium, of which two were confirmed Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) by RD4 deletion typing. Further characterization of the two M. bovis at strains level revealed that one of the strains was SB0133 while the other strain was new and had not been reported to the M. bovis database prior to this study. Hence, it has now been reported to the database, and designated as SB1953. In conclusion, the results of the present study have shown that the majority of camel TB lesions are caused by mycobacteria other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. And hence further identification and characterization of these species would be useful towards the efforts made to control TB in camels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15862
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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