Living Organisms / Monera (Bacteria) / Bacteria with Gram positive staining cell-walls / Mycobacterium / Species:
Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex
Summary Information
Morphology, Staining and Metabolism information at genera level (Mycobacterium)

(Classification of bacterial species is an evolving discipline. The information in Wildpro has been carefully referenced to the source material, as far as possible. Readers requiring further clarification should consult the source materials and more recent publications. Classification information in Wildpro will be altered when clear and scientifically endorsed new information regarding taxonomic divisions becomes available to us.

This section is currently predominantly used in Wildpro to link different data types and demonstrate inter-relationships. It does not contain detailed information on the bacteria itself.)

Common synonyms MAIC, Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), MAI Complex, Mycobacterium avium- Mycobacterium intracellulare Complex.

The classification of bacteria within this group remains under review. For the purposes of including data on relevant diseases we have included the following bacterial types within this species group (they are listed here under their common synonyms and where readers require more detailed referencing they should consult recent papers on the subject):

  • Mycobacterium avium, Avian tubercle bacillus. (B75)
  • Mycobacterium intracellulare; Battey bacillus (Nocardia intracellularis, Mycobacterium intracellularis;) (B75)
  • Mycobacterium paratuberculosis; Johne's bacillus (Mycobacterium enteritidis, Mycobacterium johnei)(B47)
  • Mycobacterium silvaticum; (Mycobacterium scrofalceum, Mycobacterium marianum) (B75)
Notes Bacteria of the Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex causing Avian Tuberculosis in birds are organisms of the air-freshwater interface, and are found most commonly in temperate regions, surviving best out of sunlight. Shady conditions and completely enclosed houses, by protecting the bacteria from sunlight, may enhance survival and thereby increase contamination (J7.32.w1, J44.72.w1, P3.1990-1991.w1).

Bacteria of the Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex causing Avian Tuberculosis in birds can usually survive for at least four years and possibly up to seven years in the environment. Sites on which waterfowl have been maintained for many years may have high levels of contamination, due to excretion of bacilli by infected birds over time (B32.7.w43, B14, P3.1990-1991.w1, P11.1993.w1).

The types commonly recognized as Mycobacterium avium (serotypes 1, 2 and 3) are the major causes of disease in birds (B15).

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Associated Diseases linked in Wildpro
In general, the bacterial species within the Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex produce disease in a wide variety of species including birds, pigs, cattle, sheep and humans. They are a common source of non-specific hypersensitivity in the tuberculin test in cattle. (B47). Johne's disease in cattle is caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. (B88)
Associated Waterfowl Diseases Avian Tuberculosis (Avian TB, Mycobacteriois, Tuberculosis, TB) Waterfowl Disease Summary A chronic debilitating bacterial disease.
Waterfowl in which the disease has been recorded.
Associated Waterfowl Diseases Cataracts Waterfowl Disease Summary Opacity of the lens. May be unilateral or bilateral.
Waterfowl in which the disease (not necessarily the infectious agent) has been recorded.

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Antibiotic Use and Resistance
Generally highly resistant. (B47)
Listed Antibiotics recorded as having efficacy --
Listed Antibiotics recorded as RESISTANCE Mycobacterium avium avium subspecies is generally resistant to:
  • Isoniazid (B47)
  • Rifampin (B47)
  • Aminoglycosides (B47)

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References for Bacterial Species

Species Author

Suzanne Boardman
B47 John F Timoney, James H Gillespie, Fredric W Scott, Jeffrey E Barlough
Hagan and Bruner's Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals - Eight Edition
B88 Dwight C Hirsh and Yuan Chuang Zee
Veterinary Microbiology
B21 P J Quinn, M E Carter, B Markey, G R Carter
Clinical Veterinary Microbiology
B75 Noel R Krieg and John G Holt
Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology - Volume 2

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