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Mycopathologia. 2006 Apr;161(4):229-34.

Occurrence of yeasts in cloacae of migratory birds.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Health and Welfare, University of Bari, Str. prov.le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.


Several species of yeast have been reported as pathogens in humans based on increases in immunodeficiency syndromes and as a result of immunosuppressant chemotherapy in cancer treatment. Domestic and wild birds are known to act as carriers of human pathogenic fungi. To gain additional information on the yeasts present in the cloacae of some species of migratory birds, 421 wild birds (24.39% out of 1726 birds caught in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria) were sampled with the permission of the local judicial authority. The state of conservation of the birds (i.e. post-mortem alterations, colour of the mucosae etc.), along with their age and sex were determined. Samples were collected directly from the cloacae and cultured, and colonies were identified in each positive sample. Yeasts were isolated from 15.7% of the animals sampled, with the highest percentage found in coots (Fulica atra -58.8%) and the lowest in quails (Coturnix coturnix -1.7%). A total of 131 isolates belonging to 15 species of yeast were identified. Rhodotorula rubra was the yeast with the highest number of isolates (28.2%), followed by Cryptococcus albidus (18.4%), Candida albicans (9.2%), Trichosporon cutaneum (8.4%), Candida guilliermondii (6.1%), Candida tropicalis (6.1%) and other species. The present study represents the first survey on the occurrence of yeasts in the cloacae of migratory birds. The prevalence and species of yeasts isolated is discussed on the basis of the ecology, diet, and habitat of the birds.

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