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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2009 Jan;21(1):133-6.

Cryptococcus gattii with bimorphic colony types in a dog in western Oregon: additional evidence for expansion of the Vancouver Island outbreak.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


Cryptococcus gattii was isolated from a 1.5-year-old dog with systemic cryptococcosis in Oregon. The dog had no link to Vancouver Island or British Columbia, Canada. Samples from a nasal swab and from a granulomatous mass within the cranial cavity were pooled for culture. Colonies on Sabouraud dextrose agar were mucoid and exhibited bimorphic morphology, melanin-pigmented and unpigmented. Pigmented colonies were encapsulated budding spherical yeast, whereas unpigmented colonies were of unencapsulated ovoid budding yeast. In addition to defective melanin production, the unpigmented colony type exhibited defective mating. Genetic analysis by high-resolution multilocus sequence typing revealed that the 2 isolates are genetically identical at 8 unlinked loci tested and that the 2 isolates are both the VGIIa Vancouver Island major genotype. Findings are consistent with expansion of the Vancouver Island outbreak onto the mainland Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

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