Mastitis caused by Mycobacterium kansasii infection in a dog



Masashi Yuki, Yuki Animal Hospital, 2-99 Kiba-cho Minato-ku, Nagoya 455-0021, Japan



A 2-year, 7-month-old female Chihuahua was admitted for a mammary mass measuring one cm in diameter. The dog had a history of demodicosis for 4 months and showed signs of pseudopregnancy at the time of the visit. Cytologic examination of an aspirate of the mass revealed a large number of macrophages containing nonstaining bacterial rods, which were acid-fast in a Ziehl–Neelsen stain, suggesting mycobacterial infection. Histologic examination of the mass revealed a pyogranulomatous mastitis characterized by an infiltration with macrophages containing acid-fast bacteria. Mycobacterium kansasii was subsequently cultured and identified by PCR. Surgical excision of the mass resulted in the growth of other dermal masses, but antimycobacterial treatment with rifampin and clarithromycin resolved these masses within 1 month. Three months after discontinuation of the treatment, similar organisms were found in aspirates of the enlarged bilateral inguinal lymph nodes by cytologic examination. Despite antimycobacterial treatment for another 4 months, there was no improvement and demodicosis also recurred. The dog eventually died of lymphoma 5 months after the relapse of mycobacterial infection. Although M kansasii is considered an important pathogen for pulmonary and cutaneous disease in people, there is only one report in a dog with an infection in a pleural effusion. As both adult-onset demodicosis in dogs as well as mycobacterial infection in people have been associated with T-lymphocyte deficiency, the M kansasii infection in this dog may have been associated with a condition of immune compromise.