Mycobacteria play an important role in human and animal health fields. We here examine the place of non tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections in the veterinary context. Relevant aspects of a reference laboratory experience and a literature review are presented in this article. Importance is given both to productivity and to economic losses due to misdiagnosis with bovine tuberculosis and paratuberculosis. The impact NTM may have is relative to geographical location, ecology, husbandry, extent of surveillance programs and bovine tuberculosis and paratuberculosis prevalence. The role of the most relevant NTM in animal disease is summarized with a special focus on Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, given its role as causative agent of paratuberculosis, a disease with huge economic consequences for ruminant livestock.
Keywords: Bovine TB diagnosis interference; Map; Mycobacterial ecology; Nontuberculous mycobacteria; TB-like lesions.
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