An eviscerated hunter-harvested female black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) was submitted to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The deer was emaciated, devoid of adipose tissue, and the parietal surface of the thoracic cavity contained multiple granulomas. Acid-fast bacteria were detected histologically from the granulomas and were isolated and identified as Mycobacterium kansasii, a nontuberculous mycobacterium sporadically reported to cause tuberculosis-like disease in a variety of vertebrates. This was the first report of symptomatic disease caused by M. kansasii in free-ranging deer. This case indicates that atypical mycobacteria can cause tuberculosis-like disease in free-ranging deer and illustrates the importance of identifying causative agents of tuberculosis-like disease in wildlife. Copyright 2005 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
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Mycobacteriosis in a black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) caused by Mycobacterium kansasii