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Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) and C. magnus from the nasal lining of free‐ranging quokkas ( Setonix brachyurus )

Martínez‐Pérez, P.A., Fleming, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-3851 and Hyndman, T.H. (2020) Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) and C. magnus from the nasal lining of free‐ranging quokkas ( Setonix brachyurus ). Australian Veterinary Journal . Early View.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1111/avj.13019
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Abstract

Cryptococcus species are environmental yeasts, with a worldwide distribution and remarkable environmental adaptation. Although many species do not cause disease, C. neoformans and C. gattii are causative agents of cryptococcosis, a life threatening infection and a significant public health problem worldwide. Infection especially affects immunocompromised animals and humans. In wildlife, cryptococcosis appears to be more prevalent in captive populations. The objective of this study was to assess whether apparently healthy quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) harbor Cryptococcus spp. Using cultural and molecular methods, we studied yeasts isolated from nasal swabs collected from 130 free‐ranging quokkas on Rottnest Island (RI, n = 97) and the mainland (n = 33) of Western Australia. Unspeciated Cryptococcus spp. (from four quokkas), C. neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) (two quokkas) and C. magnus (one quokka) were isolated from the nasal lining of apparently healthy quokkas from RI. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii was isolated from animals captured in a human‐populated area on RI. There was no significant effect of the presence of Cryptococcus on the results of haematology, blood chemistry, peripheral blood cell morphology or clinical examination. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented isolation of C. neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) and C. magnus in a free‐ranging macropod in Western Australia. The public health implications of this finding should be further explored.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Veterinary Medicine
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2020 Australian Veterinary Association
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/57907
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