Avian tuberculosis is a contagious disease affecting various domestic and wild bird species, and is caused by Mycobacterium avium. It is reported extremely rarely in commercial poultry flocks and has not been reported in commercial domestic ducks to date, with domestic ducks reported to be moderately resistant to M. avium infection. Here, we report the outbreak of avian tuberculosis in commercial Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) flocks. Postmortem and histopathologic findings included nodules presenting in the visceral organs of ducks, and granulomas with central caseous necrosis surrounded by infiltrating lymphocytes. The M. avium pathogen was isolated and further identified by Ziehl-Neelsen staining and PCR based on insert sequence IS901 and the 16S rRNA gene. We highlight that avian tuberculosis not only has economic significance for the duck industry, but also presents a potential zoonotic hazard to humans.
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Vol. 60 • No. 3