Cryptococcus gattii-Induced Infections in Dogs from Southern Brazil.

Mycopathologia 2015 Oct 30;180(3-4):265-75. Epub 2015 May 30.

Laboratory of Animal Pathology, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Rodovia Celso Garcia Cid, PR 445 Km 380, Campus Universitário, PO Box 10.011, Londrina, Paraná, 86057-970, Brazil,

Cryptococcus gattii-induced cryptococcosis is an emerging infectious disease of humans and animals worldwide, with rare descriptions of this infection in domestic animals from Brazil. This study presents the findings associated with C. gattii in dogs from Londrina, Paraná, Southern Brazil. Two dogs, a 3-year-old, female German shepherd and a 6-year-old, male Boxer, were evaluated by a combination of pathological, mycological, and molecular diagnostic techniques. Significant pathological alterations included cryptococcal lymphadenitis, meningoencephalitis, tonsillitis, and rhinitis with nasal cryptococcomas in the German shepherd dog, while cryptococcal lymphadenitis and pneumonia were observed in the Boxer; both dogs had pseudocystic cryptococcosis. The mucicarmine histochemical stain readily identified the intralesional cryptococcal budding organisms in all affected tissues. Mycological culture and isolation confirmed the yeasts as C. gattii due to positive reaction with the L-canavanine glycine bromothymol blue agar. A PCR assay using the internal transcribed spacers (ITS)1 and ITS2 primers, which target the ITS1 and 2 regions including the 5.8S rRNA gene, amplified the desired amplicons; direct sequencing confirmed the isolate as C. gattii. ITS nucleotide differentiation demonstrated that the isolate forms part of the ITS type 4 Cryptococcus organisms which corresponds to the C. gattii VGII molecular subtype or the RAPD type 2 Cryptococcus organisms. Collectively, these findings confirmed the participation of C. gattii in the etiopathogenesis of the lesions observed in these dogs and expanded the epidemiological niche of this important mycotic agent to include Southern Brazil. It is noteworthy to mention that previous epidemiological studies have suggested that C. gattii-induced cryptococcosis is more frequently diagnosed in Northern relative to Southern Brazil, so these findings might suggest an expansion of the distribution of this agent within continental Brazil.

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