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N Z Vet J. 2004 Jun;52(3):150-2.

Pulmonary hyalohyphomycosis caused by Fusarium spp in a Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi): an immunohistochemical study.

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  • 1Unit of Histology and Pathology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Trasmontaña s/n, 35416, Arucas (Las Palmas), Spain.



To describe the microscopic and immunohistochemical findings in a case of pulmonary hyalohyphomycosis in a Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi).


Samples of lung, liver and kidney from a stranded, dead Kemp's ridley sea turtle were routinely processed for histopathological studies. Two monoclonal antibodies that reacted specifically with antigens of Aspergillus spp and the Mucorales (Zygomycetes) group, and a panel of polyclonal antibodies raised against Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Geotrichum candidum, Fusarium solani, and Scedosporium apiospermum were used for immunohistochemical or immunofluorescence staining.


Histologically, a severe multifocal granulomatous pneumonia associated with fungal infection was diagnosed. All hyphae were identified as Fusarium spp because a strong and uniform reactivity was obtained only with a heterologously-absorbed polyclonal antibody raised against somatic antigens of Fusarium solani.


Fusarium spp should be included in the differential diagnosis of mycotic pneumonia in Kemp's ridley sea turtles.


This is the first report of a pulmonary mycotic infection in a sea turtle diagnosed using immunohistochemistry. Wildlife rehabilitators and pathologists should be aware of the availability of immunohistochemical techniques for identifying fungi in sea turtles.

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