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Appl Microbiol. 1965 Sep;13(5):720-4.

Occurrence of dermatophytes in fresh bat guano.


Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesis that fresh bat guano serves as a means of pathogenic fungi dissemination in caves. A total of 371 guano samples were collected from caves in southeastern New Mexico. Each sample was agitated in sterile saline and sand. The supernatant fluid was treated with an antibiotic and streaked on differential media. Cultures were incubated at 25 and 37 C and examined at intervals over a 4-week period. For animal inoculation, highly concentrated inoculum was injected intraperitoneally into white Swiss mice. Animals were sacrificed 4 weeks later, and portions of their lung, liver, and spleen were cultured on selective media, incubated at 25 C, and examined at intervals over a 4-week period. Microsporum gypseum was isolated at all 10 collecting stations with an incidence of 22.4%, Trichophyton mentagrophytes at 7 stations with an incidence of 5%, T. rubrum at 3 stations with an incidence of 3%, and T. terrestre at 1 station with an incidence of 0.5%. From a total of 60 pools of liver-spleen-lung suspensions, 6 pools yielded positive cultures of Histoplasma capsulatum and 1 pool yielded T. mentagrophytes. No significant difference was found among the different selective media with respect to recovery of dermatophytes. Among the human pathogenic fungi isolated were Candida sp., Cladosporium sp., Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, H. capsulatum, M. gypseum, T. mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, T. terrestre, and Sporotrichum sp.

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