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BMC Vet Res. 2017 Nov 21;13(1):344. doi: 10.1186/s12917-017-1231-0.

Isolation and identification of culturable fungi from the genitals and semen of healthy giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

Ma X1,2, Li C2, Hou J3, Gu Y4.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China.
College of Life Sciences, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, 625014, China.



In order to better understand the possible role of fungi in giant panda reproduction and overall health, it is important to provide a baseline for the normal fungal composition in the reproductive system. Using morphology and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis, we systematically isolated and identified fungal species from the vagina, foreskin, and semen of 21 (11 males and 10 females) healthy giant pandas to understand the normal fungal flora of the genital tracts.


A total of 76 fungal strains were obtained, representing 42 genera and 60 species. Among them 47 fungal strains were obtained from vaginal samples, 24 from foreskins, and 5 from semen samples. Several fungal strains were isolated from more than one sample. More fungal species were isolated from females from males. The predominant genera were Aspergillus, Trichosporon, and Penicillium, followed by Candida, Cladosporium, Sordariomycetes, and Diaporthe. The average number of strains in the female vagina was significantly higher than in the foreskin and semen of male.


A total of 60 fungal species (belonging to 42 genera) were identified in the giant panda's genital tract. Some of the species were commonly shared in both males and females. These findings provide novel information on the fungal community in the reproductive tracts of giant pandas.


Culturable fungi; Foreskin; Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca); Semen; Vagina

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