Moving reptiles?  Use our snake and lizard quarantine PCR panel to avoid spreading contagious agents.

Ruminating about hoofstock issues?  Try our ruminant fecal screening PCR panel - tests for most common GI pathogens in wild & domestic ruminants.

Our Rodent Infestation PCR Panel tests for 5 common pathogens found in rodent-contaminated facilities.

In over your head? Try our waterborne pathogens PCR panel - detection of 7 different environmental pathogens by real time PCR.

Something fishy going on in your tanks? Try our new Zebrafish screening PCR panel - tests for 6 different pathogen categories from one easy-to-collect sample.

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Zoologix performs environmental, zoo, wildlife and aquatic PCR tests for...

Aeromonas hydrophila

African swine fever

Aleutian disease

Amphibian panel

Anisakis worms



Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Baylisascaris procyonis

Borna virus

Borrelia burgdorferi



Canine circovirus

Canine distemper

Canine parvovirus

Capillaria xenopodis


Chlamydophila pneumoniae

Chytrid fungus

Citrobacter freundii

Classical swine fever





Coxiella burnetii



Cryptosporidium serpentis

Cryptosporidium varanii (formerly saurophilum)

Delftia acidovorans

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli panel



Enterobacter cloacae


Epizootic hemorrhagic disease

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)

Feline panleukopenia

Ferret respiratory enteric coronavirus

Francisella tularensis




Hepatitis E

Herring worms


Influenza type A

Influenza type B

Japanese encephalitis

Johne's disease

Kangaroo herpesviruses


Lawsonia intracellularis




Listeria monocytogenes

Lizard quarantine panel

Lyme disease

Macropodid (kangaroo) herpesviruses


Mink enteritis virus


Mycobacteria in mammals, amphibians and fish

Mycoplasma mustelae

Mycoplasma species

Neospora caninum

Nipah virus

Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola

Pasteurella multocida

Plasmodium species

Porcine cytomegalovirus

Porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus

Porcine parvovirus

Pseudocapillaria tomentosa

Pseudocapillaroides xenopi

Pseudoloma neurophilia


Pseudoterranova worms

Q fever



Reovirus screen


Rift Valley fever



Sarcocystis neurona

Snake fungal disease

Snake quarantine panel

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

St. Louis encephalitis

Strep pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Swine vesicular disease

Toxoplasma gondii

Treponema pallidum


Trypanosoma cruzi

Trypanosoma evansi



Valley Fever

Vesicular stomatitis


West Nile virus

White nose syndrome

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Mycobacteria PCR tests for animals
wildlife and zoo assay data sheet


Test codes:

B0015 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis ("M.tb") complex by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay detects but does not differentiate M. tuberculosis, M. bovis and M. microti. Assay does not detect other mycobacteria species.

B0029 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Mycobacterium avium, subspecies avium by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay does not detect subspecies paratuberculosis or other mycobacteria species.

B0030 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Mycobacterium avium, subspecies paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay does not detect subspecies avium or other mycobacteria species.

B0031 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Mycobacterium intracellulare by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay does not detect other mycobacteria species.

B0067 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection and differentiation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay does not detect other mycobacteria species.

B0092 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Mycobacterium haemophilum by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay does not detect other mycobacteria species. This assay is often used in zebrafish facilities.

P0006 - Ultrasensitive qualitative mycobacteria screen by real time polymerase chain reaction. Assay detects but does not differentiate a wide range of mycobacteria, including M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. microti, M. intracellulare, M. avium, M. gastri, M. africanum, M. scrofulaceum, M. ulcerans, M. simiae, M. kansasii, M. chelonae, M. fortuitum, M. marinum, M. genavense, M. szulgai and others.

P0007 - Ultrasensitive qualitative mycobacteria species identification by real time polymerase chain reaction and PCR product sequence analysis. This 2-stage assay detects and differentiates a wide range of mycobacteria, including M. tuberculosis/bovis/microti ("M.tb complex"), M. avium, M. intracellulare, M. africanum, M. gastri, M. scrofulaceum, M. ulcerans, M. simiae, M. kansasii, M. chelonae, M. fortuitum, M. marinum, M. genavense, M. szulgai and others.

P0030 - Ultrasensitive detection of Mycobacterial species commonly infecting amphibians, by real time PCR.  Includes detection and differentiation of Mycobacterium xenopi, M. chelonae, and M. liflandii / ulcerans / marinum / shottii / pseudoshottii.


Mammalian mycobacterial infections

Many different mycobacteria can cause disease in animals. Mammals acquire classic tuberculosis (TB) by contact with other infected nonhuman primates or humans through inhalation or the digestive route (Moreland, 1970). These infected animals can become reservoirs, causing outbreaks of disease. TB infections have also been reported in many other captive and wildlife species.

The main etiologic agents of TB in primates are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum and M. microti, and infection by these mycobacteria usually results in pulmonary manifestations and occasionally disseminated disease. Mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) have also been implicated in monkey disease, mainly acute and chronic enteropathies and pulmonary infections. Asymptomatic infections by M. avium, M. intracellulariae, M. scrofulaceum and M. simiae have also been reported (Calmette et al., 1923; Smith et al., 1973; Renquist and Potkay, 1979; Brammer et al., 1995). Other saprophyte MOTT have also been isolated from primates but are usually not associated with disease.

Clinical diagnosis of TB in primates can be difficult because infected monkeys may only show mild behavioral changes like anorexia and lethargy. Occasionally, infected monkeys may suddenly die while appearing to be in good condition. The use of skin tests to identify infected monkeys is somewhat unreliable because mycobacteria-infected primates, even within the same species, can have a wide range of responses to tuberculin injection, from negative to strong positive reactions. In addition, skin tests perform inconsistently across closely-related primate species, notably the various species of macaques commonly kept in captivity.

Detection of TB and other mycobacterial infections in primates and other species has relied on tuberculin skin response, serological testing, histopathology, microscopy and culture identification. Among these, the most frequently used methods are culture identification and the tuberculin skin test (also known as the PPD, for Purified Protein Derivative), the latter being a routine test in quarantine and preventive medicine protocols (Fowler, 1993). However, the PPD test is not adequately sensitive or specific in many species and the rate of false negatives is high. Culture and associated biochemical tests for the identification of mycobacteria species are slow and painstaking procedures, and require careful collection and preservation of specimens in order to obtain accurate results.

PCR detection of mycobacterial DNA is highly sensitive when proper specimens are carefully collected. Sample types and collection techniques vary by species; deep respiratory samples obtained using bronchial lavage are often preferred for primates. Gastric lavage can also be a useful sampling technique. Pathology samples should be taken from foci most likely to contain the pathogen -- typically lung or other organ lesions, or enlarged lymph nodes. Trunk washes are used to obtain samples from elephants (National Tuberculosis Working Group for Zoo and Wildlife Species, 2003).

Mycobacterium haemophilum

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), which include Mycobacterium haemophilum, are slow-growing acid-fast bacilli (AFB) which are frequently found in the environment. Nontuberculous mycobacteria can colonize and occasionally infect humans and animals. Among them, M. haemophilum has been shown to cause skin, joint, bone, and pulmonary infections in the immunocompromised, such as AIDS or cancer patients, and lymphadenitis in children.

Several findings suggest that water reservoirs are a likely source of M. haemophilum infections. In 2005 a disease outbreak occurred in a zebrafish (Danio rerio) research facility (Whipps et al., 2007) and caused significant loss of valuable research animals. The outbreak was linked to a contaminated water source. Zebrafish appear to be particularly susceptible to M. haemophilum infection.

Laboratory diagnosis of M. haemophilum by culture usually requires a long waiting period because this bacterium is slow growing. Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is rapid and highly specific and thus is a good alternative to the traditional culture method.

In addition to the specific detection of the abovementioned mycobacterial species by the specifically targeted real time PCR assays mentioned, identification of manyh other mycobacteria to the species level can often also be accomplished rapidly through sequence analysis of PCR products (as employed in the P0007 assay above). Ultrasensitive detection of mycobacteria by PCR and subsequent PCR amplicon sequence analysis not only allows reliable detection of various species of mycobacteria but in many cases also enables identification of mycobacteria at the species level.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Help ensure that animal groups and populations are free of disease-causing mycobacteria
  • Detection of mycobacteria in water systems and natural water bodies
  • Differentiation of pathogenic and non-pathogenic mycobacteria
  • Early prevention of spread of mycobacteria among a population
  • Minimize human exposure to disease-causing mycobacteria

Brammer, D.W., O’Rourke, C.M., Heath, L.A., Chrisp, C.E., Peter, G.K. and Hofing, G.L. (1995) Mycobacterium kansasii infection in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus). J. Med. Primatol. 24: 231-235.
Calmette, A., Smith, G.H. and Soper, W.B.(1923) Tubercle Bacillus Infection and Tuberculosis in Man and Animals, Processes of Infection and Resistance, vol. Xxiii. Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 689 pp.
Fowler, M.E. (1993) Zoo & Animal Medicine: Current Therapy, 3rd ed., vol. xxv. Saunders, Philadelphia, 617 pp.
Moreland, A.F. (1970) Tuberculosis in New World primates. Lab. Anim. Care 20: 262-264.
Renquist, D.M. and Potkay, S. (1979) Mycobacterium scrofulaceum infection in Erythrocebus patas monkeys. Lab. Anim. Sci. 29: 97-101.
Smith, E.K., Hunt, R.D., Garcia, F.G., Fraser, C.E., Merkal, R.S., Karlson, A.G. (1973) Avian tuberculosis in monkeys. A unique mycobacterial infection. Am. Rev. Respir. Dis. 107: 469-471.
National Tuberculosis Working Group for Zoo and Wildlife Species (2003). Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. USDA-APHIS:
Whipps, C.M., Dougan, S.T. and Kent, M.L. (2007) Mycobacterium haemophilum infections of zebrafish (Danio rerio) in research facilities. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 270:21-26

Specimen requirements
Mammals: 0.2 ml lymph node tissue, or excised lesion from lung or other organ, or granuloma (fresh or frozen tissue is preferred; fixed tissue is less preferred, especially for P0006 or P0007), or 0.2 ml bronchoalveolar lavage or gastric lavage, or 0.2 ml feces, or fecal swab); or 0.2 ml bronchoalveolar lavage or gastric lavage, or 0.2 ml trunk lavage (elephants), or 0.2 ml feces, or fecal or rectal swab.
Amphibians and fish: skin swab/scraping, or lesion swab, or cloacal/vent swab, or tissue (fresh or frozen tissue is preferred; fixed tissue is less preferred), or tank/enclosure/filter biofilm swab
Water systems: Preferred - filter biofilm swab, or swab of other biofilm-covered surface.  Less preferred - 10ml water sample

Please call if advice is needed to decide which sample type is appropriate for the specific diagnostic application. Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days (5 business days for P0007).

B0015, B0029, B0030, B0031, B0067, B0092, P0006 and P0030: Qualitative real time PCR
P0007: Qualitative real time PCR and subsequent PCR product sequence analysis

Normal range: Nondetected

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