Diagnosis of tuberculosis in three zoo elephants and a human contact — Oregon, 2013

Amy Zlot, Jennifer Vines, Laura Nystrom, Lindsey Lane, Heidi Behm, Justin Denny, Mitch Finnegan, Trevor Hostetler, Gloria Matthews, Tim Storms, Emilio DeBess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What is already known on this topic? In North America, approximately 5% of captive Asian elephants are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Bidirectional spread of M. tuberculosis between elephants and humans has been documented. What is added by this report? Investigation of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak among three elephants at an Oregon zoo identified multiple close, casual, and spectator contacts. One hundred and eighteen contacts were identified, 96 of these contacts were screened, and seven close contacts (six recent conversions and one earlier positive test) were found to have latent, noninfectious TB. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that one elephant’s M. tuberculosis isolate identically matched the isolate of a person with pleural TB who attended a zoo orientation in 2012. The lack of guidance about how to manage captive, TB-infected elephants complicated the decision-making process for protection of zoo contacts, other animals at the zoo, and the general public. What are the implications for public health practice? Collaboration between public health, veterinary medicine, and occupational health experts could lead to better understanding about associated risks, and could help prevent zoonotic transmission of M. tuberculosis. The development of improved TB screening methods for elephants is needed to prevent exposure to humans with close and prolonged contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1398-1402
Number of pages5
JournalMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Volume64
Issue number52
StatePublished - Jan 8 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

contagious disease
Tuberculosis
contact
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Zoo Animals
Pleural Tuberculosis
Public Health Practice
Latent Tuberculosis
Veterinary Medicine
Zoonoses
Occupational Health
North America
public health
Disease Outbreaks
veterinary medicine
Decision Making
Public Health
spectator
Genome
decision-making process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Information Management

Cite this

Zlot, A., Vines, J., Nystrom, L., Lane, L., Behm, H., Denny, J., ... DeBess, E. (2016). Diagnosis of tuberculosis in three zoo elephants and a human contact — Oregon, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(52), 1398-1402.

Diagnosis of tuberculosis in three zoo elephants and a human contact — Oregon, 2013. / Zlot, Amy; Vines, Jennifer; Nystrom, Laura; Lane, Lindsey; Behm, Heidi; Denny, Justin; Finnegan, Mitch; Hostetler, Trevor; Matthews, Gloria; Storms, Tim; DeBess, Emilio.

In: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 64, No. 52, 08.01.2016, p. 1398-1402.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zlot, A, Vines, J, Nystrom, L, Lane, L, Behm, H, Denny, J, Finnegan, M, Hostetler, T, Matthews, G, Storms, T & DeBess, E 2016, 'Diagnosis of tuberculosis in three zoo elephants and a human contact — Oregon, 2013', Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 64, no. 52, pp. 1398-1402.
Zlot, Amy ; Vines, Jennifer ; Nystrom, Laura ; Lane, Lindsey ; Behm, Heidi ; Denny, Justin ; Finnegan, Mitch ; Hostetler, Trevor ; Matthews, Gloria ; Storms, Tim ; DeBess, Emilio. / Diagnosis of tuberculosis in three zoo elephants and a human contact — Oregon, 2013. In: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016 ; Vol. 64, No. 52. pp. 1398-1402.
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