Molecular detection and characterization of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex subspecies responsible for bovine tuberculosis in Punjab, Pakistan

Rubab Maqsood, Shannon C. Duffy, Hamad Bin Rashid, Shakera Sadiq Gill, Chanda Jabeen, Nimra Arshad, Gulshan Umbreen, Marcel A. Behr, Vivek Kapur, Mamoona Chaudhry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), traditionally associated with Mycobacterium bovis, presents significant public health and economic challenges worldwide. This study investigated the causative agents of bTB in slaughtered cattle and buffalo in Lahore, Pakistan. Of the 3,581 animals screened, 34 were identified with gross TB-like lesions. The lesions were processed for culture, PCR, and Sanger sequencing to identify the causative agents of the disease. The results identified 10 Mycobacterium orygis and 8 Mycobacterium tuberculosis sensu stricto isolates. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on two M. orygis isolates, and the sequences were phylogenetically compared to 93 publicly available M. orygis sequences. The results also demonstrated that the JB21 and JB22 primers, which have been previously commonly applied to detect M. bovis in Pakistan, are unable to distinguish between M. tuberculosis complex subspecies. The identification of M. orygis and M. tuberculosis as causative agents of bTB in this slaughterhouse in Punjab may have important implications in identifying cases of zoonotic TB in humans and applying appropriate molecular tools to identify the prevalence of the disease. The data from this study align with recent findings suggesting M. orygis is the predominant cause of bTB in South Asia. IMPORTANCE The study findings hold significant relevance to the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, as they directly impact the field. The first-time identification of Mycobacterium orygis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the predominant causative agents of bovine tuberculosis in Lahore, Pakistan underscores the urgent need for enhanced diagnostic methods. The study emphasizes the importance of improved assays for the accurate detection and differentiation of Mycobacterium subspecies. Additionally, the research addresses zoonotic risk assessment and public health implications, advocating for a multidisciplinary approach that integrates clinical microbiology with veterinary and human health sectors. These insights contribute to clinical microbiology knowledge, shaping effective strategies for disease prevention, surveillance, and control. The study’s potential to advance the field makes it well suited for publication in the Microbiology Spectrum journal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases

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