pp 1–5 | Cite as

Pulmonary actinomycosis in a free-living black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata)

  • Davi E. R. Sousa
  • Tais M. Wilson
  • Mizael Machado
  • Alexandra A. B. G. Pereira
  • Gabriela R. T. Costa
  • Valéria Dutra
  • Márcio B. Castro
News and Perspectives


Actinomycosis is a very rare infection in wild animals with a few reports in captive non-human primates. Herein we report a case of pulmonary actinomycosis in a free-living black-tufted marmoset in the urban area of the Federal District, Brazil. The animal presented severe dyspnea and died in the garden of a residence. At necropsy, the left-pulmonary lobes showed multiple nodules filled with purulent content. A myriad of beaded, branching, filamentous Gram-positive and modified Ziehl–Neelsen-negative bacilli arranged in aggregates or star-like colonies, surrounded by macrophages, neutrophils, and Splendori-Hoepli phenomenon were observed in histological sections of the lungs. According to the pathological findings and characteristic morphotintorial pattern of the infectious agent, pulmonary actinomycosis was diagnosed. Until now, fatal pulmonary actinomycosis had never been reported in free-living Simiiformes. Knowledge about the diseases that affect commensal free-range simians in urban areas forms the basis for actions aimed at conservation of the species.


Actinomyces spp. Splendori-Hoepli Lung Infection Pathology 



We give special thanks to the Environmental Health Surveillance Directorate of the Federal District and Brazilian Ministry of Health for technical support.


  1. Al-Doory Y (1972) Systemic mycoses. In: Fiennes RN (ed) Pathology of simian primates. Part II: infectious and parasitic diseases. S. Karger, Switzerland, pp 224–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnes LD, Grahn BH (2007) Actinomyces endophthalmitis and pneumonia in a dog. Can Vet J 48:1155Google Scholar
  3. Boyanova L, Kolarov R, Mateva L, Markovska R, Mitov I (2015) Actinomycosis: a frequently forgotten disease. Future Microbiol 10:613–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DeWitt JP, Stetson CL, Thomas KL, Carroll BJ (2018) Extensive cutaneous botryomycosis with subsequent development of nocardia-positive wound cultures. J Cutan Med Surg 22:344–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Di Francesco G, Cammà C, Curini V, Mazzariol V, Proietto U, Di Francesco CE, Ferri N, Di Provvido A, Di Guardo G (2016) Coinfection by Ureaplasma spp., Photobacterium damselae and an Actinomyces-like microorganism in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with pleuropneumonia stranded along the Adriatic coast of Italy. Res Vet Sci 105:111–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Díaz-Delgado J, Guerra JM, Fernandes NCCA, Gonçalves-Serra E, Minozzo GA, Di Loretto C, Iglezias KM, Groch R, Kanamura C, Catão-Dias JL (2017) Spontaneous pulmonary adenosquamous carcinoma in a free-living black capuchin monkey (Sapajus nigritus). J Med Primatol 47:120–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duarte MH, Vecci MA, Hirsch A, Young RJ (2011) Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live. Biol. Lett. 7:840–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferrecchia CE, Ducore RM, Colgin LM, Lewis AD (2015) Spontaneous nocardial brain abscess in a juvenile rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). J Med Primatol 44:45–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frade MTS, Firmino MO, Maia LA, Silveira AM, Nascimento MJR, Martins FSM, Souza AP, Dantas FM (2018) Características epidemiológicas, clínico-patológicas e morfotintoriais de quatorze casos de nocardiose em cães. Pesq Vet Bras 38:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goulart VDLR, Teixeira CP, Young RJ (2010) Analysis of callouts made in relation to wild urban marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) and their implications for urban species management. Eur J Wildl Res 56:641–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grzywa-Celińska A, Emeryk-Maksymiuk J, Szmygin-Milanowska K, Czekajska-Chehab E, Milanowski J (2018) Pulmonary actinomycosis—the great imitator. Ann Agric Environ Med 23:97–102Google Scholar
  12. MacNeill AL, Steeil JC, Dossin O, Hoien-Dalen PS, Maddox CW (2010) Disseminated nocardiosis caused by Nocardia abscessus in a dog. Vet Clin Pathol 39:381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Masand A, Kumar N, Patial V (2015) Actinomycosis (lumpy jaw) in cow: a case report. Comp Clin Path 24:541–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McHugh KE, Sturgis CD, Procop GW, Rhoads DD (2017) The cytopathology of Actinomyces, Nocardia, and their mimickers. Diagn Cytopathol 45:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Obaldía N III, Nunez M, Montilla S, Otero W, Marin C (2018) Tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in a closed Aotus monkey breeding colony: epidemiology, diagnosis and TB screening using antibody and interferon-gamma release testing. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 58:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Quinn PJ, Markey BK, Carter ME, Donnelly WJ, Leonard FC (2005) Actinomicetos. In: Quinn PJ, Markey BK, Carter ME, Donnelly WJ, Leonard FC (eds) Microbiologia Veterinária e Doenças Infecciosas, 1st edn. Artmed Editora, São Paulo, pp 74–82Google Scholar
  17. Radaelli E, Andreoli E, Mattiello S, Scanziani E (2007) Pulmonary actinomycosis in two chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Eur J Wildl Res 53:231–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Raskin RE (2015) Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue. In: Raskin RE, Meyer D (eds) Canine and feline cytology: a color atlas and interpretation guide. Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 34–90Google Scholar
  19. Ravindra N, Sadashiva N, Mahadevan A, Bhat DI, Saini J (2018) Central nervous system actinomycosis—a clinico-radiological and histopathological analysis. World Neurosurg 116:e362–e370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sambrook JRD (2001) Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 3rd edn. CSHL Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Scott GBD (1992) The comparative pathology of inflammatory diseases, infective and non-infective, and parasites. In: Scott GBD (ed) Comparative primate pathology. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 72–73Google Scholar
  22. Seyedmousavi S, Guillot J, Arné P, de Hoog GS, Mouton JW, Melchers WJG, Verweij PE (2015) Aspergillus and aspergilloses in wild and domestic animals: a global health concern with parallels to human disease. Med Mycol 53:765–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sharman MJ, Goh CS, von Lande RGK, Hodgson JL (2009) Intra-Abdominal Actinomycetoma in a Cat. J Fel Med Surg 11:701–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sood R, Tyagi R, Selhi PK, Kaur G, Kaur H, Singh A (2018) Role of FNA and special stains in rapid cytopathological diagnosis of pulmonary nocardiosis. Acta Cytol 62:178–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Steingrube VA, Wilson RW, Brown BA, Jost KC, Blacklock Z, Gibson JL, Wallace RJ (1997) Rapid identification of clinically significant species and taxa of aerobic actinomycetes, including Actinomadura, Gordona, Nocardia, Rhodococcus, Streptomyces, and Tsukamurella isolates, by DNA amplification and restriction endonuclease analysis. J Clin Microbiol 35:817–822Google Scholar
  26. Sykes JE (2012) Actinomycosis and nocardiosis. In: Greene EC (ed) Infectious diseases of the dog and cat, 4th edn. Elsevier Saunders, St. Louis, pp 495–510Google Scholar
  27. Tessele B, Vielmo A, Hammerschmitt M, Barros CSL (2014) Actinomicose atípica em bovinos. Pesq Vet Bras 34:663–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tietz A, Aldridge KE, Figueroa JE (2005) Disseminated coinfection with Actinomyces graevenitzii and Mycobacterium tuberculosis: case report and review of the literature. J Clin Microbiol 43:3017–3022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang M, Zhang XY, Chen YB (2017) Primary pulmonary actinomycosis: a retrospective analysis of 145 cases in mainland China. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 21:825–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davi E. R. Sousa
    • 1
  • Tais M. Wilson
    • 1
  • Mizael Machado
    • 1
  • Alexandra A. B. G. Pereira
    • 1
  • Gabriela R. T. Costa
    • 2
  • Valéria Dutra
    • 3
  • Márcio B. Castro
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterinary Pathology LaboratoryUniversity of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Environmental Health Surveillance Directorate of the Federal District (DIVAL)BrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory of Veterinary Molecular BiologyFederal University of Mato Grosso, Veterinary HospitalCuiabáBrazil

Personalised recommendations