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Adiaspiromycosis in a wild European rabbit, and a review of the literature

Hughes, Katherine, Borman, Andrew M.
Chrysosporium, DNA, Oryctolagus cuniculus, digital images, etiological agents, fungi, histopathology, image analysis, lungs, lymph nodes, pneumonia, polymerase chain reaction, rabbits
Adiaspiromycosis is a mycotic infection caused by thermally dimorphic fungi classified as Emmonsia parva and E. crescens (formerly Chrysosporium spp.) until recently, when new classifications were proposed. We document the pathologic findings in a severe case of adiaspiromycosis, with lymph node involvement, in a wild European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The rabbit exhibited granulomatous pneumonia with tracheobronchial lymph node enlargement. Histopathologically, the lung was expanded by myriad, densely cellular, heterophilic and granulomatous foci, surrounding bi- to trilaminar adiaspores. Adiaspore density was considered to be similar in all lung lobes. In the left caudal lung lobe, 80 adiaspores were counted in a 50-mm² area using digital image analysis. The mean and median adiaspore diameters were 240 ± 52 μm and 255 μm, respectively. Tracheobronchial lymph nodes exhibited moderate numbers of similar adiaspores. PCR amplification of DNA extracted from microdissected adiaspores failed to identify Emmonsia spp.–specific DNA. These data suggest that adiaspiromycosis may result in severe granulomatous pneumonia in wild European rabbits. Although confirmation of the etiologic agent by PCR using DNA extracted from formalin-fixed tissue is not always successful, digital image analysis can be used to aid accurate assessment of adiaspore density and morphology.