Experimental infection with Mycobacterium caprae in goats and evaluation of immunological status in tuberculosis and paratuberculosis co-infected animals

Javier Bezos, Lucía de Juan, Beatriz Romero, Julio Álvarez, Francisco Mazzucchelli, Ana Mateos, Lucas Domínguez, Alicia Aranaz

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29 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis in goats (caused by Mycobacterium caprae and M. bovis) has become a significant concern in recent years because of its high prevalence in certain caprine herds in Spain and other European countries, and also due to the potential transmission to other animals and human beings. In the present study, a transthoracic model of tuberculosis infection was performed on goats. Animals were selected based on the serological response used to detect paratuberculosis in goats (negative and positive results). The kinetics of the immune response was evaluated using the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) assay, skin tests and serology of paratuberculosis during nine months post-challenge. At the end of the study the animals were necropsied, tuberculosis-lesions were scored and culture (M. caprae and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis) was performed to determine the true infection status. Animals were positive to the IFN-γ assay 15 days post-challenge and the values were fluctuating throughout the study. A varied performance of the assay was observed between tuberculosis and tuberculosis-paratuberculosis mixed infection regarding both the number of positive results and the OD values obtained after stimulation with bovine and avian PPDs. Furthermore, the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin test did not detect all M. caprae-infected animals. At necropsy, a positive correlation between pathology score and bovine PPD specific IFN-γ response was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary immunology and immunopathology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by project AGL2006-06206 of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs . J. Bezos was the recipient of a research contract assigned by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the European Social Fund. The group is a partner of the coordination action “Veterinary European Network on Mycobacteria (VENoMYC)” funded by the European Union .


  • Diagnosis
  • Goat
  • IFN-γ
  • Post-mortem score
  • Tuberculosis


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