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is a member of the complex (MTBC) not routinely identified to species level. It lacks specific clinical features of presentation and may therefore not be identified as the causative agent of tuberculosis. Use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) in the investigation of a family microepidemic of tuberculosis in Almería, Spain, unexpectedly identified the involvement of .


We aimed to evaluate the presence of additional unidentified cases and to determine the magnitude of this occurrence.


First-line characterisation of the MTBC isolates was done by MIRU-VNTR, followed by WGS. Human and animal isolates were integrated in the analysis.


A comprehensive One Health strategy allowed us to (i) detect other 11 infections in humans in a period of 18 years, (ii) systematically analyse infections on an epidemiologically related goat farm and (iii) geographically expand the study by including 16 isolates from other provinces. Integrative genomic analysis of 41 human and animal isolates showed a high diversity of strains. The animal isolates’ diversity was compatible with long-term infection, and close genomic relationships existed between isolates from goats on the farm and recent cases of infection in humans.


Zoonotic circulation of strains had gone unnoticed for 18 years. Systematic characterisation of MTBC at species level and/or extended investigation of the possible sources of exposure in all tuberculosis cases would minimise the risk of overlooking similar zoonotic events.


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