Abstract: Since 2000, Heidelberg Zoo has been dealing with tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium pinnipedii within its collection of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Recently, more cases became known all across Europe. Various diagnostic methods, including microscopy, PCR, and culture of sputum samples; three serological tests (ElephantTB STAT-PAK® assay, multiantigen print immunoassay [MAPIA], and dual path platform assay [DPP]); and diagnostic imaging, were used to examine 14 animals. M. pinnipedii infection was strongly suspected antemortem based on the diagnostic results and was confirmed at necropsy in 10 sea lions. ElephantTB STAT-PAK® assay, MAPIA, and DPP test showed the diagnostic potential for rapid detection of this disease in live sea lions. The highest sensitivity was achieved when applying more than one test.

Key Words: diagnosis, Mycobacterium pinnipedii, South American sea lions, Otaria flavescens, tuberculosis

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.38.1.2012.43

Page Numbers: 43-55

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