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A note on the experimental uptake and clearance of Candida albicans in a young captive gull (Larus sp.)


An immature gull (Larus sp.) was placed in captivity after having been kept as a pet for several weeks and allowed to roam freely. On day one of captivity, bird feces showed the presence of Candida albicans but the yeast was absent for the next 16 days. The gull was fed only yeast-free water and fish. On day 17 only, the bird was fed fish containing C. albicans which had been isolated from a wild gull. The yeast was present in all fecal samples (2–4 per day) for the next 13 days. Beginning on day 26 and irregularly thereafter the bird was fed fish containing 100–200 mg of ketoconazole. Feces continued to show the presence of C. albicans but only sporadically because the bird continued to reinfect itself, probably by contaminating the water supply via feet or feces. After protecting the water, yeast presence in feces decreased. The gull was released on day 57; feces that day were negative for C. albicans. During the experimental period the bird displayed no clinical symptoms of candidiasis. The observations indicated that one exposure to C. albicans was sufficient to establish the carrier state and that the possibility exists for shedding a potentially dangerous microorganism over a large geographical area.

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Buck, J.D. A note on the experimental uptake and clearance of Candida albicans in a young captive gull (Larus sp.). Mycopathologia 94, 59–61 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00437263

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  • Water Supply
  • Clinical Symptom
  • Geographical Area
  • Candida
  • Experimental Period