Eumycetoma caused by Aspergillus fumigatus in an alpaca (Lama pacos)

Guillot J., Hadjaje C., Petit T., Dally C., Deville M., Huerre M., Chermette R.

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A great variety of fungal species are able to form granules in vivo but only a few species are regularly reported as causative agents of mycetomas in humans or animals. The main fungal agents responsible for white grain mycetomas are belonging to the genera Acremonium, Scedosporium, Fusarium and less frequently Aspergillus. We report here a case of eumycetoma due to Aspergillus fumigatus in a 15-year-old female alpaca (Lama pacos) living in a zoological park in France. The animal presented a swelling on the left thigh, which was noticed 7 months after intramuscular injections of an antibiotic (oxytetracycline) and an anti-inflammatory drug (flunixine). Needle aspiration of the swelling yielded pus- like material. White grains (30-200 microns) were detected at direct examination. Histological examination revealed the presence of multiple pyogranulomas gathered around eosinophilic clusters containing hyaline fungal hyphae and vesiculous organs. The fungal species was identified as Aspergillus filmigatus on culture. The identification of the causative agent was confirmed by immunohistochemistry as well as by amplification and sequence analysis of fungal ITS 1 and 2 and 5.8S ribosomal DNA regions from tissue samples. The animal appeared in good health initially and no lameness was ever observed. During the evolution of the mycetoma, the alpaca got pregnant and its newborn was healthy and had a normal growth. Surgery or antifungal treatments were not possible. The lesion kept growing in size and the animal became weak and anorexic. The alpaca was eventually euthanized, 2 years after the diagnosis of mycetoma was made. Necropsic examination revealed a large abscess and several smaller abscesses in the muscles of the left posterior leg but no dissemination to other tissue. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first case in which A. fumigatus was identified as the causative agent of a muscular mycetoma.

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17th International Society for Human and Animal Mycology
    • ISHAM 17th (2009)