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Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in a dog from Africa


Corresponding author: Vanessa Turinelli, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, Laboratoire d'Hématologie-Cytologie-Immunopathologie, 1 Avenue Bourgelat, BP 83, 69280 Marcy l'Etoile, France (


Abstract: A 4-year-old male Boxer dog with a history of vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss moved from West Africa to Lyon, France, where it was further evaluated. Radiographs revealed pleural effusion and enlargement of tracheobronchial lymph nodes and liver. Cytologic examination of the pleural effusion and a fine needle aspirate specimen of the liver showed mixed mononuclear inflammation with nonstaining rod structures within epithelioid histiocytes. At necropsy, the main gross pathologic findings were exudative pleuritis, nodular hepatitis, and infarcts and caseous nodules in the kidneys. The main histologic lesions were granulomatous hepatitis, granulomatous pneumonia, fibrinous leukocytic pleuritis, necrotic and fibro-calcified granulomatous lymphadenitis, and granulomatous nephritis. A Ziehl-Neelsen stain applied to both cytologic and histologic samples was positive for acid-fast bacilli. Bacterial culture of the pleural fluid was positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Cytology is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of this important zoonotic disease.