Beetles as possible vectors of infections caused by Mycobacterium avium species Academic Article uri icon


  • Mycobacteria were not isolated from any of 229 beetle imagoes of 29 species originating from 14 distinct localities in the Czech and Slovak Republics: 186 imagoes (34 samples) and 43 imagoes (12 samples) from the wild and herds with paratuberculosis infected ruminants, respectively. From 75 environmental samples taken from barns with infected ruminants, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from five scrapings of the floors in barns and a feed processing room. From bran and peat taken from pig farms, M. a. hominissuis was diagnosed in 13% of 72 samples and in 69% of 70 samples, respectively. M. a. avium was isolated from 2 (2.9%) and atypical mycobacteria from 12 (17.1%) peat samples. In the respective experiments, larvae of Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus and Zophobas atratus Fabricius were infected in vitro with isolates of M. a. paratuberculosis of IS900 RFLP type B-C1 and M. a. avium of IS901 RFLP type F-C3. T. molitor larvae were also infected with M. a. hominissuis by naturally contaminated bran and peat. M. a. paratuberculosis and M. a. avium were diagnosed in larvae of both species on days 1 to 3 post infection (p.i.). M. a. hominissuis was isolated from T. molitor larvae fed by bran on days 4 to 9 p.i. and from imagoes on day 35 p.i. and from larvae fed by peat on days 4 to 14 p.i. RFLP types of all the isolates identified before infection and after isolation from larvae were identical. Thus, beetles could mechanically transmit mycobacteria, this hazard should be considered for both the implementation of control measures and feeding captive animals with larvae.


  • Fischer, OA
  • Matlova, L
  • Dvorska, L
  • Svastova, P
  • Peral, DL
  • Weston, RT
  • Bartos, M
  • Pavlik, I

publication date

  • September 2004