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A bacterial infection in humans and many animals caused by Pasteurella pseudotuberculosis; may be severe in humans with septicemia and symptoms resembling typhoid fever.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a group of insufficiently studied infectious diseases of animals and man characterized by the formation in various organs of nodules that outwardly resemble the tubercles of tuberculosis.

The causative agents of pseudotuberculosis are microbes of the genera Pasteurella and Corynebacterium that are nonresistant to acids. Pasteurella pseudotuberculosis under natural conditions causes disease in rodents and birds. According to some sources, this pathogen has been isolated in spontaneously occurring cases of the disease in cats, foxes, and martens and in some species of farm animals, as well as in various objects in the environment. The microbe is also pathogenic for man. One form of pseudotuberculosis has been described as Far Eastern scarlet fever. Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is the causative agent of pseudotuberculosis in sheep and of ulcerative lymphangitis in horses. Corynebacterium kutscheri causes pseudotuberculosis in mice. The last two types are not pathogenic for man.

The epizootiology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of pseudotuberculosis have not been adequately studied. Under natural conditions, infection occurs through the alimentary canal, respiratory tract, and injured skin. The main sources of the pathogen are sick and convalescent animals and contaminated feed and food products. The symptoms depend on the site of the lesions and are highly variable. The diagnosis, which is difficult to make in most cases, is based on results of bacteriological and histological examinations; there is no specific prophylaxis.

Pseudotuberculosis is treated by means of antibiotics combined with agents providing symptomatic relief. The chief means of preventing the disease in man and animals are prompt isolation of infected and apparently infected animals, thorough cleaning and disinfection of contaminated objects, disposal of contaminated food products, and deratization.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.