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An unusual fungal disease of crocodiles

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Thomas, A.D. (1995) An unusual fungal disease of crocodiles. Crocodile Research Bulletin, 1 . pp. 63-67.


Organisation URL: http://www.rirdc.gov.au


Fungi commonly occur in the soil and can readily adapt to cause diseases in both man and animals, multiplying rapidly in whatever tissue they are feeding on (22). They enter the body through cuts, abrasionsor bite wounds and are particularly a problem in reptiles during the first stages of growth from the egg, especially in hot, humid conditions. Some types of fungi can also pass across the egg membrane of reptiles just after the eggs are laid, causing death or malformation of the embryo(23,24,25,26).

There are not many published reports of fungal infections in crocodiles. Most of those reported show lung infection and sores in alligators (27,28) and crocodiles (29,30,31).

Contamination and skin sores in reptiles are usually caused by the fungal genera Fusarium and Paecilomyces or by keratin-loving fungi such as Trichophyton spp. (32) and Chrysosporium spp. (33,34). Keratin is a widespread animal protein found in horn, feathers, hair and hoofs. It is difficult to confirm the disease-producing status of the Chrysosporium genus because it is commonly found on the skin of healthy, normal-looking animals(35,36).

During a recent Oonoonba Veterinary Laboratory trial on crocodiles (C. porosus) from five to 16 weeks of age, we came across unusual skin sores which suggested a keratin-loving fungus. This article describes how the infection affected the crocodiles and the control measures used to eliminate the problem

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:© The State of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries. Copyright protects this publication. Except for purposes permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, reproduction by whatever means is prohibited without prior written permission of the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries, Queensland.
Keywords:Crocodiles; fungal disease; fusarium; Paecilomyces; Trichophyton spp.; Chrysosporium spp.
Subjects:Animal culture > Reptiles
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary mycology
Live Archive:08 Jun 2004
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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