A 19-yr-old female African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) presented with labored breathing and anorexia. Radiographs revealed soft-tissue density lesions in the left lung fields and fluid in the right. The penguin died during the night. Postmortem examination demonstrated multiple granulomas in the lungs and air sacs. The right coelom was filled with opaque fluid. Histopathology of the lung, liver, kidney, and spleen identified Mycobacterium as a primary disease etiology. Large numbers of acid fast–positive, rod-shaped bacteria were recognized on tissue staining. Mycobacterium genavense was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers specific for the species. Further confirmation of M. genavense was accomplished using PCR with universal Mycobacterium spp. primers followed by sequencing of the amplicon obtained. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of mycobacteriosis—and specifically M. genavense—in an African penguin. This case also demonstrates the similarities of presentation between the more commonly suspected and encountered aspergillosis and mycobacteriosis.
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