Findings of mycobacteria in insectivores and small rodents

Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2000;45(2):147-52. doi: 10.1007/BF02817414.


The organs of 30 insectivorous mammals and 62 rodents from areas inhabited by people or livestock where cattle paratuberculosis or mycobacterial infections of swine had been found to occur were examined by cultivation during the monitoring of occurrence and spread of mycobacterioses in cattle and swine. Mycobacteria were found in the organs of 3 insectivores (10%) and 6 rodents (9.7%). Mycobacterium chelonae was isolated from the organs of the lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens) and the common vole (Microtus arvalis), and M. vaccae and M. avium subsp. avium (IS901+, serotype 1) from the organs of the common shrew (Sorex araneus). M. avium subsp. avium (IS901+, serotype 1) was also isolated from the organs of the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis). Slow-growing mycobacteria of group III (according to Runyon) were isolated from the organs of the mouse (Mus musculus sensu lato) and the yellow-necked mouse (A. flavicollis). These findings had no connection with the epizootological situation in the nearby livestock. M. fortuitum was isolated from the organs of the common vole (M. arvalis) caught in a field within easy reach of a swine breeding herd. M. fortuitum was also identified in the lymph nodes and droppings of this swine herd, as well as in the straw, scrapings from the floor of stalls, troughs and banisters, as well as from larvae and imagoes of dipterous insects. These results demonstrate the possibility that insectivores and small rodents can spread the causative agents of mycobacteria in wild and domestic animals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Housing, Animal
  • Insectivora / microbiology*
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification*
  • Rodentia / microbiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine
  • Viscera / immunology
  • Viscera / microbiology