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J Zoo Wildl Med. 1998 Dec;29(4):479-83.

Systemic candidiasis in a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Systemic candidiasis, with involvement of the spleen, liver, kidneys, and lymph nodes, was diagnosed in a geriatric captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). The animal had a long clinical history of intermittent chronic gastritis associated with Helicobacter acinonyx and chronic renal failure, both of which were repeatedly treated with broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy. Following euthanasia, a postmortem examination showed numerous microabscesses and granulomas composed of degenerate eosinophils and containing asteroids or Splendore-Hoeppli material throughout the body. Yeast, pseudohyphae, and infrequently branching septate hyphae, demonstrated with special stains, were identified as a Candida sp. by fluorescent antibody testing. Low genetic variation in cheetahs may increase their susceptibility to infectious agents. Additional factors contributing to the overgrowth and dissemination of Candida sp. in this case may have included changes in the bacterial flora of the alimentary tract as a result of repeated antimicrobial therapy and alterations in the topography of the alimentary mucosa caused by chronic gastritis.

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