Med. Weter. 80 (2), 53-57, 2024

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Mycobacterial infections in cats (Felis catus) as a potential threat to humans – a review 2014–2023
Mycobacteria infections in cats include tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium microti) and mycobacteriosis caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). The aim of the paper is to present the latest reports on mycobacterial infections in cats and place emphasis on their impact on the health of their owners. The reviewers looked for papers about mycobacterial infections in cats in PubMed and Google Scholar from any date from January 2014 to June 2023. The search used the following keywords: cat, feline, tuberculosis, and mycobacteria. Papers were evaluated for their value to science and their applicability. Papers published in recent years have shown that mycobacterial infections in cats should still be considered in a differential diagnosis when many clinical signs present and they are mainly skin and ocular symptoms. An epidemiological investigation of these infections is highly important because cases were reported also in low-risk regions. Mycobacterial infections pose a risk to humans. The degree of risk depends on many factors, such as the species of mycobacteria, the closeness of animal-owner contact, and the immune status of the owner. The greatest risk are still believed to be M. bovis infections; however, NTM infections should also raise a concern, especially in high-risk groups.
Key words: cat; feline; Mycobacterium; tuberculosis mycobacteriosis; public health