Mycobacterium pinnipedii

Mycobacterium pinnipedii is a member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex which primarily infects seals. It is a slowly growing Mycobacterium. The species is named after the Pinnipeds, the organisms from which M. pinnipedii was first isolated.[1]

In 2014, a genetic study revealed that Peruvian human skeleton dating to 1000 CE had been infected with a form of tuberculosis most closely related to M. pinnipedii, suggesting that seals had served as a vector for transmission of tuberculosis from the Old World to the New.[2]


  1. ^ a b Cousins, DV; Bastida, R; Cataldi, A; Quse, V; Redrobe, S; Dow, S; Duignan, P; Murray, A et al. (2003). "Tuberculosis in seals caused by a novel member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex: Mycobacterium pinnipedii sp. Nov". International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 53 (Pt 5): 1305–14. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02401-0. PMID 13130011. 
  2. ^ Bos, Kirsten I.; Harkins, Kelly M.; Herbig, Alexander; Coscolla, Mireia; Weber, Nico; Comas, Iñaki; Forrest, Stephen A.; Bryant, Josephine M. et al. (20 August 2014). "Pre-Columbian mycobacterial genomes reveal seals as a source of New World human tuberculosis". Nature 514 (7523): 494–7. doi:10.1038/nature13591. PMID 25141181. 
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