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Cryptococcosis in Koalas In Western Australia

M. R. Gardiner, b.s., v.m.d., and m. E. Nairn, B.V.Sc.

Department of Agriculture, Perth, Western Australia.


The recent reports by Backhouse and Bolliger (1961) and Bolliger and Finckl (1962) dealing with a series of five cases of cryptococcosis in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in the Sydney region of New South Wales have focused attention on an interesting host-parasite relationship. The veterinary literature suggests that cryptococcosis is an uncommonly recognized cause of animal disease in contrast to the apparent ubiquity of the etiological agent - Cryptococcus neoformans, but the koala must be looked upon as a most unusual and specialized host. For these reasons the following cases of cryptococcosis are reported.