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1 December 2011 Computed Tomography of Granulomatous Pneumonia with Oxalosis in an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Associated with Metarhizium anisopliae var anisopliae
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Abstract

An 18-yr-old, male, albino, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was evaluated for decreased appetite and abnormal buoyancy. Computed tomography (CT) of the coelomic cavity showed multifocal mineral and soft tissue attenuating pulmonary masses consistent with pulmonary fungal granulomas. Additionally, multifocal areas of generalized, severe emphysema and pulmonary and pleural thickening were identified. The alligator was euthanized and necropsy revealed severe fungal pneumonia associated with oxalosis. Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae was cultured from lung tissue and exhibited oxalate crystal formation in vitro. Crystals were identified as calcium oxalate monohydrate by X-ray powder defractometry. Fungal identification was based on morphology, including tissue sporulation, and DNA sequence analysis. This organism is typically thought of as an entomopathogen. Clinical signs of fungal pneumonia in nonavian reptiles are often inapparent until the disease is at an advanced stage, making antemortem diagnosis challenging. This case demonstrates the value of CT for pulmonary assessment and diagnosis of fungal pneumonia in the American alligator. Fungal infection with associated oxalosis should not be presumed to be aspergillosis.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Natalie H. Hall, Kenneth Conley, Clifford Berry, Lisa Farina, Lynne Sigler, James F. X. Wellehan, Michael H. A. Roehrl, and Darryl Heard "Computed Tomography of Granulomatous Pneumonia with Oxalosis in an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Associated with Metarhizium anisopliae var anisopliae," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 42(4), 700-708, (1 December 2011). https://doi.org/10.1638/2011-0027.1
Received: 7 February 2011; Published: 1 December 2011
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