Mycobacterium microti infection in the cat: a case report, literature review and recent clinical experience

J Feline Med Surg. 2011 Mar;13(3):195-204. doi: 10.1016/j.jfms.2011.01.012.


Overview: Mycobacterium microti infection is infrequently described in cats in the veterinary literature. It can be one of a large number of possible differential diagnoses in a feline patient with dermal nodules and non-healing draining ulcers, and can occasionally spread to involve the lungs and/or other areas of the body.

Case summary: This report describes the clinical signs, eventual diagnosis and variable response to treatment in a cat in Switzerland with recurrent cutaneous M microti infection. Only after several diagnostic and therapeutic attempts, over more than 2 years, was the species of Mycobacterium finally identified and targeted therapy given.

Practical relevance: For any cat in which there is even a low suspicion of mycobacterial infection, the authors recommend that an aggressive diagnostic approach is taken. Tissue specimens should be collected and frozen early on, and, as soon as acid-fast bacilli are detected, samples should be sent to a mycobacterial reference laboratory for definitive identification.

Literature review: A review of the literature relating to the aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis and management of M microti infection in cats and dogs is included. This is supplemented with clinical and therapeutic experience gained from this case and other, unpublished cases managed over the past 15 years by one of the authors (DGM).

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Mandibular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Mandibular Diseases / therapy
  • Mandibular Diseases / veterinary
  • Mycobacterium / classification
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification*
  • Mycobacterium Infections / diagnosis
  • Mycobacterium Infections / therapy
  • Mycobacterium Infections / veterinary*