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Preliminary investigation into the prevalance of mucormycosis in the platypus (Ornithorgynchus anatinus) in three catchments in north-west Tasmania


Macgregor, JW and Holyoake, CS and Munks, SA and Robertson, ID and Warren, KS, Preliminary investigation into the prevalance of mucormycosis in the platypus (Ornithorgynchus anatinus) in three catchments in north-west Tasmania, Australian Veterinary Journal, 88, (5) pp. 190-196. ISSN 0005-0423 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.2010.00568.x


Objective To investigate the distribution and prevalence of mucormycosis in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) from the Inglis, Emu and Black-Detention catchment areas in north-west Tasmania. Procedure A field study was performed and resulted in the examination of 44 wild platypuses; in addition, one dead platypus and two live platypuses were examined after they were independently submitted to a local veterinary clinic. Results No cases of mucormycosis were conclusively diagnosed. One platypus with signs consistent with those previously described in cases of mucormycosis was captured in the Emu River catchment. However, laboratory tests did not provide a definitive diagnosis for the lesion. Two platypuses from the Inglis catchment area had signs very similar to those previously described in cases of mucormycosis, but laboratory tests found Corynebacterium ulcerans to be the likely cause of the cutaneous ulcers on one of these platypuses and an unidentified fungal agent to be the cause of a cutaneous nodule in the other. Conclusions These findings do not prove that mucormycosis is absent from the populations studied. However, they may indicate that the prevalence of disease is low. The possibility that Mucor amphibiorum is present in a subclinical form in platypuses, or infecting another reservoir, is not excluded. The findings also suggest that caution should be exercised when diagnosing mucormycosis based on clinical findings alone and raise the possibility that some cases may have been incorrectly diagnosed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Corynebacterium ulcerans • fungal granuloma • Mucor amphibiorum • mucormycosis • platypus • skin lesions
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in fresh, ground and surface water
UTAS Author:Munks, SA (Dr Sarah Munks)
ID Code:63570
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2010-05-11
Last Modified:2011-04-12

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