Systemic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a Cause of Osteomyelitis in a Captive Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

David Walker, J. Gibbons, J.D. Harris , C.S. Taylor, C. Scott, Gavin Paterson, Linda Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica are ubiquitous pathogens with wildlife and domestic animal reservoirs. Outbreaks of ‘non-plague’ yersiniosis in man and non-human primates are reported frequently (including zoological specimens and research breeding colonies), and are usually characterized by enteritis, mesenteric lymphadenitis and occasionally organ abscessation. In people, non-septic reactive arthritis (ReA) is a common sequela to yersiniosis. However, there have been rare reports in people of septic arthritis and osteomyelitis because of active systemic infection with Y. pseudotuberculosis. Osteomyelitis has also been reported rarely in historical yersiniosis outbreaks in farmed turkeys in England and the USA. This paper reports the first case of osteomyelitis caused by systemic infection with Y. pseudotuberculosis O:1 in a non-human primate, a captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The lemur had a short clinical history of hyporexia and weight loss with reduction in mobility, especially of the left hindlimb. On post-mortem examination there was evidence of multi-organ abscessation. In addition, severe necrosis, inflammation and large bacterial colonies were present in the musculature, periosteum and bone marrow in the hip, ribs and a vertebra at the cervicothoracic junction. Osteomyelitis should be considered as a rare clinical presentation in non-human primates with systemic Y. pseudotuberculosis infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • yersiniosis
  • Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
  • lemur
  • osteomyelitis


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