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Emergence of Cryptococcus spp. in Donkeys in Egypt: A Potential Public Health Concern

Emergence of Cryptococcus spp. in Donkeys in Egypt: A Potential Public Health Concern

Rahma Mohamed, Sara Nader, Dalia Hamza and Maha A. Sabry*

Department of Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza Square, PO Box 12211, Cairo, Egypt

*      Corresponding author:


Cryptococcus has gained medical importance over the last decade, as it is an emerging pathogen among immunocompetent individuals. There are no epidemiological data on the prevalence of this fungus in donkeys. The current research was conducted to investigate the possible role of the Egyptian donkeys in the epidemiology of such pathogen. Bacteriological analysis of nasal swabs of 52 diseased and healthy donkeys at different localities in Egypt revealed that the overall occurrence of Cryptococcus spp. was 11.5%. The highest proportion was in El-Fayoum Governorate (25). Phenotypic identification of Cryptococcus indicated that 13.2 % and 7.1% among healthy and diseased donkeys were positive for this pathogen, respectively.The study of the potential risk factors associated with Cryptococcus colonization in the donkeys did not show any statistically significant differences. Molecular serotyping of 6 identified Cryptococcus spp. evidenced C. gattii in the nasal passages of 4 healthy donkeys (7.7%); while the other 2 C. neoformans serotype A (3.8%) isolates identified in healthy and diseased donkeys. Four C. gattii and C. neoformans isolates demonstrated higher laccase (LAC1) genes among the identified virulence factors. While capsular associated protein (CAP59) gene identified alone or associated with LAC1 gene in the other 2 C. gattii isolates. This study underlines a potential association of those fungi with human disease in Egypt. In order to strengthen existing therapeutic and control approaches, further analyses of the main risk factors and the other virulence of these pathogens should be further considered.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 4, pp. 1501-2000


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