Mycobacterium orygis is similar in morphology to species in the tuberculosis complex of Mycobacterium. It is a non-motile, acid fast bacterium. The cell walls are composed primarily of Mycolic acids. The cells are irregular rods, 0.3–0.5 um in diameter and 2–3 um in length.
Mycobacterium orygis is an obligate aerobe, and a facultative intracellular pathogen. It has a doubling time of 15–20 hours within cells, and longer when outside cells. Mycobacterium orygis uses the host's cells internal fatty acids for both a carbon source and an energy source. These molecules include cholesterol, triacylglycerides, and glycosphingolipids. The optimum growing range for this species is 32 degrees Celsius.
This species is a pathogen of humans, oryx, deer, dairy cattle, and rhesus monkeys. It is internationally spread as of 2021. It is a threat to the greater one-horned rhinoceros, which is considered vulnerable by the ICUN. It can present as respiratory and neurological disease, and forms granulomas which can cause severe health problems and death.
- "Tuberculosis". textbookofbacteriology.net. Archived from the original on 2016-12-24. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
- Rufai, S. et al. Complete Genome Sequence of Mycobacterium orygis strain 51145. American Society for Microbiology: https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/MRA.01279-20 Archived 2021-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
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- David M. Love, Michael M. Garner, Konstantin P. Lyashchenko, Alina Sikar-Gang, Daniel S. Bradway, Suelee Robbe-Austerman, Michele Miller, and Jan Ramer "TUBERCULOSIS CAUSED BY MYCOBACTERIUM ORYGIS IN A GREATER ONE-HORNED RHINOCEROS (RHINOCEROS UNICORNIS): FIRST REPORT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 50(4), 1000-1004, (9 January 2020). doi:10.1638/2018-0084