Bacteria are now and have always been the dominant form of life on earth. By virtue of their unimaginable variety, overwhelming number and spectacular adaptability to diverse environments, they represent life’s greatest success story. Among the most successful families are the mycobacteria. This volume of the Scientific and Technical Review presents the most current information available on important mycobacterial infections that handicap animal health and hinder global trade.

Mycobacteria represent a thriving and ingenious family in the microbial domain. Many mycobacterial species have co-opted as ‘home’ the very cell dispatched by the host to defeat them: the macrophage. Having thus defused a key weapon in the immune arsenal, the bacilli flourish for years prior to killing off or debilitating their host. The many economic and animal health impacts of this successful strategy are examined in this volume.

Chapters in this book address important health topics ranging from the most studied mycobacterial disease (tuberculosis) to a newly emerging consequence of mycobacterial infection (Buruli ulcer). The chapters address the main mycobacterial pathogens affecting animal health today. Not only presenting the most current data for each pathogen, complete with excellent references, but the chapters also illuminate each other as they address facets shared among this family of organisms. The authors of these chapters bring a wealth and breadth of knowledge to this complex topic: experts from many fields (pathology, immunology, epidemiology, microbiology, etc.) focus on a rich array of subjects (domestic agriculture, captive and free-ranging wildlife, human and animal zoonoses, pathogenesis, diagnosis and control). The diverse realms of expertise of the authors attest to the broad impact this family of organisms has on host species.

This volume should be of great interest to all those with responsibilities in animal health, animal production or global animal trade.