Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection in a colony of stumptail macaques (Macaca arctoides)

J Infect Dis. 1987 May;155(5):1011-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/155.5.1011.


Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection was documented in a colony of stumptail macaque monkeys (Macaca arctoides), with 29 (76%) of 38 monkeys infected and shedding organisms in feces. Thirteen deaths have occurred during the past five years. Animals without overt clinical disease were shedding as many as 2 X 10(6) colony-forming units of M. paratuberculosis/g of feces. Intestinal tissues from animals dying of this disease contained up to 10(8) colony-forming units of M. paratuberculosis/g of tissue. The clinical and pathological features of paratuberculosis in this species were comparable to those reported for paratuberculosis in ruminants and Mycobacterium avium infections in primates. By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, antibodies to M. paratuberculosis were found in 79%-84% of the animals. Antibodies could not be detected in six animals with clinical disease. These findings extend the natural host range of M. paratuberculosis to include nonhuman primates and add support to current suggestions that M. paratuberculosis may be pathogenic for humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Enteritis / pathology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Macaca
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Monkey Diseases / immunology
  • Monkey Diseases / microbiology
  • Monkey Diseases / pathology
  • Mycobacterium / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium / immunology
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Paratuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Paratuberculosis / immunology
  • Paratuberculosis / microbiology
  • Paratuberculosis / pathology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial