ISSN 2398-2985      

Cryptococcosis

4ferrets

Introduction

  • Cryptococcosis is a sporadic but not uncommon systemic fungal infection in humans and animals.
  • The most common nomenclature for it is Cryptococcus neoformans, although with DNA sequencing more specific variations are being found.
  • It is now accepted that both C. neoformans and C. gattii affect ferrets.
  • There are reports in the literature of Cryptococcus infection in ferrets.
  • Cause: Cryptococcus neoformans or Cryptococcus gattii.
  • Signs: skin lump, respiratory signs, abdominal mass, tachypnea, pneumonia, weight loss.
  • Diagnosis: hematology, biochemistry, radiography, CT, MRI, cytology and histopathology, ultrasonography, culture and antigen serology.
  • Treatment: excision; itraconazole, amphotericin B.
  • Prognosis: poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Infection most likely via aerosol.
  • Localized cutaneous infection may result from skin penetration.
  • Multifocal subcutaneous infection most likely from hematogenous spread; also CNS and lymph node disease.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Cryptococcus has a predilection for the cooler parts of the body (respiratory tract, head, limbs).
  • Susceptibility to systemic disease is increased during corticosteroid therapy.
  • Immunocompromised or stressed ferrets may end up with it becoming disseminated.

Specific

  • Cryptococcus neoformas is commonly associated with avian feces but it is also found in soil.
  • Cryptococcus gattii is associated with decaying plant matter of certain tree species, especially Eucalyptus spp, but also other trees that occur in emerging areas.

Timecourse

  • Unknown incubation time.
  • Infection once established may require treatment lasting weeks.

Epidemiology

  • Exposure is through the environment.
  • It is not transmitted animal to animal.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wyre N R, Michels D & Chen S (2013) Selected emerging diseases in ferrets. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim 16 (2), 469-493 PubMed.
  • Morera N, Juan-Salles C, Torres J M et al (2011) Cryptococcus gattii infection in a Spanish pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and asymptomatic carriage in ferrets and humans from its environment. Medical Mycology 49 (7), 779-784 PubMed.
  • Ropstad E O, Leiva M, Peña T et al (2011) Cryptococcus gattii chorioretinitis in a ferret. Vet Ophthal 14 (4), 262-266 PubMed.
  • Eshar D, Mayer J, Parry N M, Williams-Fritze M J & Bradway D S (2010) Disseminated, histologically confirmed Cryptococcus spp infection in a domestic ferret. J Am Vet Assoc 236 (7), 770-774 PubMed.
  • Lester S J et al (2004) Clinicopathologic features of an unusual outbreak of cryptococcosis in dogs, cats, ferrets, and a bird: 38 cases (January to July 2003). J Am Vet Assoc 225 (11), 1716-1722 PubMed.
  • Malik R et al (2000) Successful treatment of invasive nasal cryptococcosis in a ferret. Aus Vet J 78 (3), 158-159 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Miscellaneous Conditions. In: Ferret Medicine & Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 371-376.
  • Orosz S E & Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Disorders of the Nervous System. In: Ferret Medicine & Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press. USA. pp 273-288.
  • Richardson J & Perpinan D (2017) Disorders of the Respiratory System. In: Ferret Medicine & Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 311-324.
  • Fox J G & Marini R P (2014) Eds Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 835.
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Elsevier, USA. pp 752.

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