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Cryptococcosis in domestic animals in Western Australia: a retrospective study from 1995–2006

McGill, S., Malik, R., Saul, N., Beetson, S.A., Secombe, C., Robertson, I.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752 and Irwin, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-0006-8262 (2009) Cryptococcosis in domestic animals in Western Australia: a retrospective study from 1995–2006. Medical Mycology, 47 (6). pp. 625-639.

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A retrospective study of cryptococcosis in domestic animals residing in Western Australia was conducted over an 11-year-period (from 1995 to 2006) by searching the data base of Murdoch University Veterinary Teaching hospital and the largest private clinical pathology laboratory in Perth. Cryptococcosis was identified in 155 animals: 72 cats, 57 dogs, 20 horses, three alpacas, two ferrets and a sheep. There was no seasonal trend apparent from the dates of diagnosis. Taking into account the commonness of accessions to Murdoch University, cats were five to six times more likely to develop this disease than dogs, and three times more likely than horses, while horses were almost twice as likely as dogs to become infected. Amongst the feline cohort, Ragdoll and Birman breeds were over-represented, while in dogs several pedigree breeds were similarly overrepresented. Dogs and horses tended to develop disease at an early age (one to five years), while cats were presented over a much wider range of ages. In cats and dogs the upper respiratory tract was the most common primary site of infection, while horses and alpacas tended to have lower respiratory involvement. The most striking finding of the study was the high frequency with which C. gattii was identified, with infections attributable to this species comprising 5/9 cats, 11/22 dogs, 9/9 horses and 1/1 alpaca, where appropriate testing was conducted. Preliminary molecular genotyping suggested that most of the C. gattii infections in domestic animals (9/9 cases) were of the VGII genotype. This contrasts the situation on the eastern seaboard of Australia, where disease attributable to C. gattii is less common and mainly due to the VGI genotype. C. gattii therefore appears to be an important cause of cryptococcosis in Western Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2009 ISHAM, Medical Mycology
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