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Pathology of coccidioidomycosis in llamas and alpacas
- Fernandez, Julian A., Hidalgo, Mireia N., Hodzic, Emir, Diab, Santiago S., Uzal, Francisco A.
- Camelidae, Coccidioides immitis, Coccidioides posadasii, alpacas, animal health, coccidioidomycosis, food safety, fungi, liver, llamas, lungs, pneumonia, polymerase chain reaction, California
- Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal disease caused by either Coccidioides immitis or Coccidioides posadasii. Anecdotal evidence suggests that camelids are particularly susceptible to this disease and that a relatively large percentage of pneumonias in these animals are caused by Coccidioides spp. In a search of 21 y (1992–2013) of records from the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, we found 79 cases of coccidioidomycosis diagnosed in camelids; 66 (84%) had pneumonia and 13 (16%) had lesions only in organs other than the lungs. The organs most frequently affected were lung (84%) and liver (78%). Coccidioides spp. were the cause of pneumonia in 66 of 362 (18%) camelid cases during the study period. The lesions in affected organs were multifocal-to-coalescing pyogranulomas, which in most cases were visible grossly. Ten of the 12 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lung samples tested by a universal Coccidioides spp. PCR assay were positive (4 C. immitis, 2 C. posadasii); the species could not be determined in 4 of the 10 cases positive by PCR. Coccidioidomycosis is an important cause of pneumonia in camelids in California, and can be caused by either C. immitis or C. posadasii.