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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


FARIA, Renata Osório de et al. Occurrence of Cryptococcus neoformans in pigeon excrement in the city of Pelotas, State of Rio Grande do Sul. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.2, pp.198-200. ISSN 0037-8682.

INTRODUCTION: Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast and is the etiological agent for human and animal cryptococcosis. It is found in sources within the environment, including pigeon excrement, and is an important cause of mortality among immunocompromised individuals worldwide. METHODS: Seventy different environments in the city of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, were surveyed for the purpose of investigating Cryptococcus neoformans occurrences in pigeon excreta. The environments included buildings, public squares and outdoor locations in the city. After collection, chloramphenicol saline solution was added to the excreta, which were then homogenized and seeded onto Sabouraud agar with chloramphenicol and onto Niger agar, and incubated at 32°C. Identification was performed by direct examination and by means of the phenoloxidase and urease tests, carbohydrate assimilation and culturing in CGB medium. RESULTS: Out of the sites investigated (n = 70), 26 (37.1%) of them contained pigeon excreta. These included historical buildings (n = 8), a church tower (n = 1), rice mills and warehouses (n = 7), a public square (n = 1) and outdoor locations (n = 9). Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from 26.9% (n = 7/26) of these locations. CONCLUSIONS: This study draws attention to isolation of this fungus in urban areas that present large accumulations of pigeon excrement. This represents a risk to public health, especially for immunocompromised individuals.

Keywords : Cryptococcus neoformans; Excrement; Pigeons; Environment; Urban.

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