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The frst case of onychomycosis in a koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) due to atypical isolates of Microsporum gypseum, a diagnostic challenge

Mirhendi H1,2*, Nishiyama Y3, Rezaei-Matehkolaei A4, Satoh K5, Makimura K5

1 Department of Medical Parasitology & Mycology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Medical Parasitology & Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology, Tokyo, Japan
4 Department of Medical Mycology, School of Medicine, Health Research Institute, Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
5 General Medical Education and Research Center, Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan
*Corresponding author: Hossein Mirhendi, Department of Medical Parasitology & Mycology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Email:

Background and Purpose: Superfcial mycotic infections have been only poorly described in koalas and there are no reliable mycologically confrmed data regarding clinical isolation of dermatophytes in this animal. We report an 11-yearold female koala, kept in a zoo in Tokyo, Japan, and presenting with hyperkeratotic lesions and scaly plaques on forepaw claws and pads reminiscent of fungal infection.
Case Report: Direct microscopy of the scrapings was indicative of a dermatophyte infection. By culture and subsequent repeated subculturing of clinical specimens on Sabouraud dextrose agar, Mycobiotic agar, and potato dextrose agar, two distinct strains with different colony morphotypes (designed as types I and II) were identifed. Macroscopic and microscopic characteristics of the strains were suggestive of three different species, i.e. Microsporum canis, M. gypseum, and M. fulvum. However, partial sequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA, translation elongation factor-1α (Tef-1α), and beta-tubulin (BT2) genes confrmed the identity of both isolates as M. gypseum. The animal was treated with a continuous terbinafne regimen (250 mg/kg) once daily for 12 weeks.
To the best of our knowledge, the present report is the frst confrmed case of dermatophytosis in a koala. The genetics underlying a variety of phenotypic traits in most classical dermatophyte species are unknown, and further studies are needed to understand this phenomenon.

  • All
  • 2013
  • Biogeography
  • Biology
  • Chlamydia
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Ellis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Genetics
  • Habitat
  • Infection
  • Interventions
  • Koala
  • Lunney
  • Threats
  • Timms
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