Visceral mycobacteriosis in amphibians from the Brazilian Caatinga region

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Emerging infectious diseases in wild animals related to humans have received greater attention in recent years. Mycobacteriosis is a bacterial disease of animal and human importance. Mycobacterium gordonae infects the skin and internal organs of free-ranging amphibians and is considered the least pathogenic member of the Mycobacteriaceae to humans. However, information about its infection and pathogenesis in wild amphibians is still lacking. A total of 1306 amphibian specimens belonging to 6 families, 12 genera, and 21 species were collected and dissected during a helminthological survey of 7 municipalities in southern Ceara state, Caatinga (eco)region, northeast Brazil. Of these, 17 specimens (0.76%), belonging to 2 families and 4 species (Leptodactylus macrosternum, n = 2; L. vastus, n = 10; Pseudopaludicola pocoto, n = 2; Rhinella jimi, n = 3), presented infections that consisted of calcification nodules in the coelomic cavity, kidney, liver, lung, gut, and pancreas. The nodules were examined by histopathology and PCR. The bacteria were identified as M. gordonae by molecular analyses. Infected animals presented with hepatocellular vacuolar degeneration, karyolysis, and karyorrhexis, hepatic portal congestion, hemorrhage, mononuclear cellular infiltration, melanomacrophage center hyperplasia, and granulomas in varying stages of development with intralesional acid-fast bacilli. This study is the first report of M. gordonae in these amphibian species, in which results of molecular analyses confirmed the presence of M. gordonae in natural environments and histopathology confirmed the typical lesion of mycobacteriosis in amphibians from northeastern Brazil.




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Diseases Of Aquatic Organisms. Oldendorf Luhe: Inter-research, v. 145, p. 139-144, 2021.

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