Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium bovis, was recently diagnosed in a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) ,
two lions (Panthera leo) and a chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) from the Kruger National Park (KNP). It
is assumed that they contracted the disease directly or indirectly from tuberculous buffaloes in the park.
Tuberculous granulomatous lesions in the lungs were extensive and constituted the predominant changes
in all three animal species. These pulmonary lesions included tuberculous bronchiolitis and cavitation
which would facilitate dissemination of M. bovis into the environment. Spread of the disease to free-ranging
species (in which it has not previously been reported) that may act as maintenance hosts of
the infection, is a matter of serious concern.
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