, Volume 166, Issue 2, pp 61-69
Date: 06 May 2008

Cryptococcus neoformans Isolated from Passerine and Psittacine Bird Excreta in the State of Paraná, Brazil

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Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic basidiomycete yeast that causes life-threatening infections as meningoencephalitis primarily in immunocompromised hosts, generally associated with AIDS. The source of this organism is mainly pigeon excreta; however, other avian species’ excreta are implicated as a source of this yeast. The occurrence of C. neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii in bird excreta in the state of Paraná in Brazil was determined in this study. A total of 141 samples of Passerine and Psittacine excreta from captive birds were collected. Additionally, 25 clinical samples from Hospital de Clínicas, in the state of Paraná were also analyzed. The determination of molecular and mating type of the isolates was performed by PCR fingerprinting, multiplex PCR, and mating type PCR. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (VNI) was isolated from 36 (25.53%) of Passerine and Psittacine excreta samples. Almost all clinical samples, except one (C. gattii VGI), were classified as C. neoformans var. grubii (VNI). All environmental and clinical isolates were mating type α. These findings reinforce that, besides pigeon excreta, the excreta of these birds can also be a reservoir of C. neoformans in domestic and public environments and is of zoonotic importance to immunocompromised patients.