Acute lameness in a cat with disseminated mycobacteriosis

Supplementary Files

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9


Mycobacterium avium

How to Cite

De Lorenzi, G., Battaglia, L., Rovesti, G. L., Pacciarini, M., Zanoni, M., Gibelli, L. R., Pigoli, C., & Luppi, A. (2020). Acute lameness in a cat with disseminated mycobacteriosis. Veterinaria Italiana, 56(3), 199–204. https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.2017.10870.1


Mycobacterium avium infection was diagnosed in an adult cat showing acute lameness of the right hind limb, enlargement of the right popliteal lymph node and two cutaneous nodular lesions of the right chest wall. Conventional radiography of the proximal tibia showed a proliferative osteolytic lesion. Cytological examination of the right popliteal lymph node and the nodular skin lesions fine needle aspiration smears, demonstrated granulomatous inflammation with many negative staining bacilli within macrophages or in smears background. The diagnosis was confirmed by Ziehl‑Neelsen staining of the smears and the identification of mycobacteria was performed by microbiological and molecular methods. Histopathology performed after the necropsy revealed disseminated mycobacteriosis with granulomatous mesenteric lymphadenitis, granulomatous pneumonia, hepatitis and tibial osteomyelitis. M. avium is a well‑known agent of gastro‑enteric, respiratory or disseminated disease in immunocompromised cats but there are few cases reported in literature of bone involvement in systemic mycobacteriosis.



Aranaz A., De Juan L., Montero N., Sánchez C., Galka M., Delso C., Alvarez J., Romero B., Bezos J., Vela A.I., Briones V., Mateos A. & Domínguez L. 2004. Bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) in wildlife in Spain. J Clin Microbiol, 42, 2602‑2608.

Baral R.M., Metcalfe S.S., Krockenberger M.B., Catt M.J., Barrs V.R., McWhirter C., Hutson C.A., Wigney D.I., Martin P., Chen S.C., Mitchell D.H. & Malik R. 2006. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection in young cats: overrepresentation of Abyssinian cats. J Feline Med Surg, 8, 23‑44.

Barry M., Taylor J. & Woods J.P. 2002. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection in a cat. Can Vet J, 43, 369‑371.

Bennett A.D., Lalor S., Schwarz T. & Gunn‑Moore D.A. 2011. Radiographic findings in cats with mycobacterial infections. J Feline Med Surg, 13, 718‑724.

Biet F., Boschiroli M.L, Thorel M.F. & Guilloteau L.A. 2005. Zoonotic aspects of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium avium‑intracellulare complex (MAC). Vet Res, 36, 411‑436.

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, 2834‑2843.

Briones V., de Juan L., Sánchez C., Vela A.I., Galka MMontero Goyache J., Aranaz A. & Domìnguez L. 2000. Bovine tuberculosis and the endangered Iberian lynx. Emerg Infect Dis, 6, 189‑191.

Cerveny S.N., Thompson M.E., Corner S.M., Swinford A.K. & Coke R.L. 2013. Cutaneous atypical mycobacteriosis in a clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). J Zoo Wildl Med, 44, 756‑760.

Cho H.S., Kim Y.H. & Park N.Y. 2006. Disseminated mycobacteriosis due to Mycobacterium avium in captive Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris). J Vet Diagn Invest, 18, 312‑314.

de Groot P.H., van Ingen J., de Zwaan R., Mulder A., Boeree M.J. & van Soolingen D. 2010. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium sub.sp avium infection in a cat, the Netherlands. Vet Microbiol, 144, 527‑529.

Greene C.E. & Gunn‑Moore D.A. 1990. Mycobacterial infections. In Infectious diseases of the dog and cat, 2nd Ed. (C.E Green., ed) Saunders, Philadelphia, 313‑315.

Gunn‑Moore D.A. 2010. Mycobacterial infection in cats and dogs. In Textbook of veterinary internal medicine 7th Ed. (S. Ettinger & E. Feldman, eds). Saunders, Philadelphia, 875‑881.

Gunn‑Moore D.A., McFarland S.E., Brewer J.I., Crawshaw T.R., Clifton‑Hadley R.S., Kovalik M. & Shaw D.J. 2011. Mycobacterial disease in cats in Great Britain: I. Culture results, geographical distribution and clinical presentation of 339 cases. J Feline Med Surg, 13, 934‑944.

Gunn‑Moore D.A. 2014. Feline mycobacterial infections. Vet J, 201, 230‑238.

Helman R.G., Russell W.C., Jenny A., Miller J. & Payeur J. 1998. Diagnosis of tuberculosis in two snow leopards using polymerase chain reaction. J Vet Diagn Invest, 10, 89‑92.

Jordan H.L., Cohn L.A. & Armstrong P.J. 1994. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection in three Siamese cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc, 204, 90‑93.

Kanegi R., Yasugi M., Nabetani T., Tanaka T., Wada Y., Hirai K., Sugiura K. & Hatoya S. 2019. Clinical findings and treatment of disseminated ‘Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis’ infection in a domestic cat. J Vet Med Sci, 81, 1842‑1849.

Knippel A., Hetzel U. & Baumgärtner W. 2004. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium‑intracellulare Infection in a Persian cat. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health, 51, 10464‑10466.

Krajewska‑Wędzina M., Dąbrowska A., Augustynowicz‑Kopeć E., Weiner M. & Szulowski K. 2019. Nontuberculous mycobacterial skin disease in cat; diagnosis and treatment ‑ case report. Ann Agric Environ Med, 26, 511‑513.

Kulski J.K., Khinsoe C., Pryce T. & Christiansen K. 1995. Use of a multiplex PCR to detect and identify Mycobacterium avium and M. intracellulare in blood culture fluids of AIDS patients. J Clin Microbiol, 33, 668‑674.

Lalor S.M., Clarke S., Pink J., Parry A., Scurrell E., Fitzpatrick N., Watson F., O'Halloran C. & Gunn‑Moore D.A. 2017. Tuberculosis joint infections in four domestic cats. JFMS Open Rep, 3, 2055116917719401.

Lantos A., Niemann S., Mezõsi L., Sós E., Erdélyi K., Dávid S., Parsons L.M., Kubica T., Rüsch‑Gerdes S. & Somoskövi A. 2003. Pulmonary tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis subsp. caprae in captive Siberian tiger. Emerg Infect Dis, 9, 1462‑1464.

Lemarie SL. 1999. Mycobacterial dermatitis. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract, 29, 1291‑1301.

Lloret A., Hartmann K., Pennisi M.G., Gruffydd‑Jones T., Addie D., Belák S., Boucraut‑Baralon C., Egberink H., Frymus T., Hosie M.J., Lutz H., Marsilio F., Möstl K., Radford A.D., Thiry E., Truyen U. & Horzinek M.C. 2013. Mycobacterioses in cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg, 15, 591‑597.

Lo A.J., Goldschmidt M.H. & Aronson L.R. 2012. Osteomyelitis of the coxofemoral joint due to Mycobacterium species in a feline renal transplant recipient. J Feline Med Surg, 14, 919‑923.

Major A., Holmes A., Warren‑Smith C., Lalor S., Littler R., Schwarz T. & Gunn‑Moore D.A. 2016. Computed tomographic findings in cats with mycobacterial infection. J Feline Med Surg, 18, 510‑517.No authors listed. 2018. TB hits Asiatic lions at two UK zoos. Vet Rec, 183, 730.

O'Brien C.R., Malik R., Globan M., Reppas G., McCowan C. & Fyfe J.A. 2017. Feline leprosy due to Mycobacteriumlepraemurium. J Feline Med Surg, 19, 737‑746.

O'Halloran C., Ioannidi O., Reed N., Murtagh K., Dettemering E., Van Poucke S., Gale J., Vickers J., Burr P., Gascoyne‑Binzi D., Howe R., Dobromylskyj M., Mitchell J., Hope J. & Gunn‑Moore D. 2019. Tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis in pet cats associated with feeding a commercial raw food diet. J Feline Med Surg, 21, 667‑681.

Rivière D., Pingret J.L., Etievant M., Jechoux A., Lanore D., Raymond‑Letron I. & Boucraut‑Baralon C. 2011. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium subspecies infection in a cat. J Feline Med Surg, 12, 125‑128.

Schmidbauer S.M., Wohlsein P., Kirpal G., Beineke A., Müller G., Müller H., Moser I. & Baumgartner W. 2007. Outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in a wild animal park. Vet Rec, 161, 304‑307.

Smith J.E. 1965. Symposium on diseases of cats ‑ III. Some pathogenic bacteria of cats with special reference to their public health significance. J Small Anim Pract, 5, 517‑524.

Thorel M.F., Huchzermeyer H.F. & Michel A.L. 2001. Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulareinfection in mammals. Rev Sci Tech, 20, 204‑218.

Torii E., Reppas G., Krockenberger M.B., Fyfe J.A., O'Brien C.R. & Malik R. 2016. Autochthonous feline leprosy caused by Mycobacterium sp. strain Tarwin affecting a cat from the Central Coast of New South Wales. Aust Vet J, 94, 285‑289.

Viljoen I.M., van Helden P.D. & Millar R.P. 2015. Mycobacterium bovis infection in the lion (Panthera leo): current knowledge, conundrums and research challenges. Vet Microbiol, 177, 252‑260.