Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Members Adapted to Wild and Domestic Animals

  • Kerri M. Malone
  • Stephen V. Gordon
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1019)


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) is composed of several highly genetically related species that can be broadly classified into those that are human-host adapted and those that possess the ability to propagate and transmit in a variety of wild and domesticated animals. Since the initial description of the bovine tubercle bacillus, now known as Mycobacterium bovis, by Theobald Smith in the late 1800’s, isolates originating from a wide range of animal hosts have been identified and characterized as M. microti, M. pinnipedii, the Dassie bacillus, M. mungi, M. caprae, M. orygis and M. suricattae. This chapter outlines the events resulting in the identification of each of these animal-adapted species, their close genetic relationships, and how genome-based phylogenetic analyses of species-specific variation amongst MTBC members is beginning to unravel the events that resulted in the evolution of the MTBC and the observed host tropism between the human- and animal-adapted member species.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex MTBC Mycobacterium bovis Host adaptation Animal-adapted species One Health 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCD School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.UCD School of MedicineUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical ScienceUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  4. 4.UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical ResearchUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

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