In monkeys and large apes, M tuberculosis, M bovis, and M avium complex can cause severe disease of the lungs and other organs. Epidemics in primate colonies may be caused by contact with infected human caregivers. Transmission is usually by aerosol with respiratory infection, but the oral route is also possible. Bacilli may also be shed in the urine. The tuberculin skin test using PPD prepared for animal use is superior to the PPD prepared for human use.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Charles O. Thoen, DVM, PhD