Mycobacterium caprae in a dairy farm in Northeast Italy


Bovine tuberculosis
Dairy cattle
M. caprae
Mycobacterium spp.

How to Cite

Amato, L., Mulatti, P., Pacciarini, M., Schiavon, E., Zanoni, M., & Bonfanti, L. (2020). Mycobacterium caprae in a dairy farm in Northeast Italy. Veterinaria Italiana, 55(4), 375–379. https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.1350.7441.2


Veneto region, Northeast Italy, has been declared officially free from bovine tuberculosis since 2008, although the disease is sporadically detected in association with cattle trade. In September 2015, bovine tuberculosis was detected in a dairy cattle farm of the region, in a holding with 69 animals. The herd underwent single intradermal tuberculin testing as part of the regional surveillance plan, and 24 animals resulted positive. Mycobacterium caprae was evidenced in 22 samples, further genotyped by PCR-based assays, as Allgäu type. Epidemiological investigation reported that sixteen animals were introduced from an officially tuberculosis free Member State in previous years. Nevertheless, spoligotyping and multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) indicated that M. caprae was strictly related to the strain circulating in 2007-2009 in Trento province, although no at-risk contacts were described. M. caprae is a zoonotic pathogen and further analyses are warranted in order to control its spread and impact on public health and animal trade.



Aranaz A., Cousins D., Mateos A. & Domínguez L. 2003. Elevation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis subsp. capraeAranaz et al. 1999 to species rank as Mycobacterium caprae comb. nov., sp. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 53 (Pt 6), 1785-1789.

Boniotti M.B., Gaffuri A., Gelmetti D., Tagliabue S., Chiari M., Mangeli A., Spisani M., Nassuato C., Gibelli L., Sacchi C., Zanoni M. & Pacciarini M.L. 2014. Detection and molecular characterization of Mycobacterium microtiisolates in wild boar from northern Italy. J Clin Microbiol, 52 (8), 2834-2843.

Chin F., Farina G., Moresco A. & Tezzele R. 2009. Tubercolosi bovina in provincia di Trento. L’osservatorio, 6, 4-10.

Domogalla J., Prodinger W.M., Blum H., Krebs S., Gellert S., Müller M., Neuendorf E., Sedlmaier F. & Büttner M. 2013. Region of difference 4 in alpine Mycobacterium caprae isolates indicates three variants. J Clin Microbiol, 51 (5), 1381-1388.

Fink M., Schleicher C., Gonano M., Prodinger W.M., Pacciarini M., Glawischnig W., Ryser-Degiorgis M.P., Walzer C., Stalder G.L., Lombardo D., Schobesberger H., Winter P. & Büttner M. 2015. Red deer as maintenance host for bovine tuberculosis, alpine region. Emerg Infect Dis, 21 (3), 464-467.

Kubica T., Rusch-Gerdes S. & Niemann S. 2003. Mycobacterium bovis subsp. caprae caused one-third of human M. bovis-associated tuberculosis cases reported in Germany between 1999 and 2001. J Clin Microbiol, 41 (7), 3070-3077.

McGavin M.D. & Zachary J.F. 2007. Pathologic basis of veterinary disease. 4th Ed., Elsevier Health Sciences, St. Louis, Missouri. 526-527.

Pérez-Lago L., Navarro Y. & García-de-Viedma D. 2014. Current knowledge and pending challenges in zoonosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis: a review. Res Vet Sci, 97, S94-S100.

Prodinger W.M., Eigentler A., Allerberger F., Schönbauer M. & Glawischnig W. 2002. Infection of red deer, cattle, and humans with Mycobacterium bovis subsp. caprae in Western Austria. J Clin Microbiol, 40 (6), 2270-2272.

Prodinger W.M., Indra A., Koksalan O.K., Kilicaslan Z. & Richter E. 2014. Mycobacterium caprae infection in humans. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 12, 1501-1513.

Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMed). 2016. Bovine tuberculosis - Austria: (VO, TR) bovine, M. caprae - Archive Number: 20160311.4085658. http://www.promedmail.org/.

Rettinger A., Broeckl S., Fink M., Prodinger W.M., Blum H., Krebs S., Domogalla J., Just F., Gellert S., Straubinger R.K. & Büttner M. 2017. The region of difference four is a robust genetic marker for subtyping Mycobacterium caprae isolates and is linked to spatial distribution of three subtypes. Transbound Emerg Dis, 64, 782-792.

Schoepf K., Prodinger W.M., Glawischnig W., Hofer E., Revilla-Fernandez S., Hofrichter J., Fritz J., Köfer J. & Schmoll F. 2012. A two-years’ survey on the prevalence of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium caprae in red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Tyrol, Austria. ISRN Vet Sci, 1-7.

Zanardi G., Boniotti M.B., Gaffuri A., Casto B., Zanoni M. & Pacciarini M.L. 2013. Tuberculosis transmission by Mycobacterium bovis in a mixed cattle and goat herd. Res Vet Sci, 95, 430-433.