First report of Mycobacteria avium complex (Mycobacteria intracellulare) in a cat from Southeast Asia

Hock Siew Han*, Danièlle Gunn-Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

CASE SUMMARY: A 3-year-old castrated male domestic shorthaired cat, with indoor-outdoor access, was presented for chronic, progressive multinodular to generalised subcutaneous nodules covering much of its body. Previous medical treatment with doxycycline had been unhelpful. Fine-needle aspiration of the nodules revealed intra- and extracellular multibacillary negative staining rods in pyogranulomatous inflammation. Bacterial culture and susceptibility studies isolated Mycobacterium intracellulare, with zimine as the drug of choice for treatment. Initial triple therapy with rifampicin, azithromycin and pradofloxacin was ineffective, and was changed to triple therapy with clofazimine, clarithromycin and doxycycline once drug susceptibility was known, which was given for 3 months, after which long-term therapy with clofazimine and clarithromycin was continued.

RELEVANCE AND NOVEL INFORMATION: Slow growing M intracellulare, a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), has never been reported to cause disease in cats from Singapore and, by extension, Southeast Asia. The infection in this patient resulted in subcutaneous nodules, which started on the face, then spread to the feet and much of the rest of its body. This is in contrast to that commonly reported for infection with M avium, which is also a member of MAC, and may not only present with similar signs in cats, but also progress to systemic spread. Susceptibility studies suggest clofazimine as the drug of choice when treating this infection, and this case supports its use as empirical therapy for veterinarians treating this disease in this region while awaiting culture and sensitivity results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20551169231194311
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports
Issue number2
Early online date5 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Mycobacterium intracellulare
  • Singapore
  • Southeast Asia
  • clofazimine


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