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Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans in an Australian zoo

Citation

Stephens, N and Vogelnest, L and Lowbridge, C and Christensen, A and Marks, GB and Sintchenko, V and McAnualty, J, Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans in an Australian zoo, Epidemiology and Infection, 141, (7) pp. 1488-1497. ISSN 0950-2688 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S095026881300068X

Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is primarily a pathogen of humans. Infections have been reported in animal species and it is emerging as a significant disease of elephants in the care of humans.With the close association between humans and animals, transmission can occur. In November 2010, a clinically healthy Asian elephant in an Australian zoo was found to be shedding M. tuberculosis; in September 2011, a sick chimpanzee at the same zoo was diagnosed with tuberculosis caused by an indistinguishable strain of M. tuberculosis. Investigations included staff and animal screening. Four staff had tuberculin skin test conversions associated with spending at least 10 hours within the elephant enclosure; none had disease. Six chimpanzees had suspected infection. A pathway of transmission between the animals could not be confirmed. Tuberculosis in an elephant can be transmissible to people in close contact and to other animals more remotely. The mechanism for transmission from elephants requires further investigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chimpanzee, elephant, transmission, tuberculosis (TB), <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i>
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response)
UTAS Author:Stephens, N (Dr Nicola Stephens)
ID Code:132639
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-05-15
Last Modified:2019-07-26
Downloads:0

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