Road killed armadillos may provide insights into human adiaspiromycosis: preliminary results in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Road killed armadillos may provide insights into human adiaspiromycosis: preliminary results in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Pedro Enrique Navas-SuárezEl Gaff

Pedro Enrique Navas-Suárez, Carlos Sacristán, Josue Díaz-Delgado, Débora Yogui, Mario Henrique Alves, Roberta Ramblas-Zamana, Maria Catalina Ospina-Pinto, Danny Fuentes-Castillo, Arnaud Desbiez, José Luiz Catão-Dias

Armadillos play a role in the epidemiology of several emerging mycoses. Emmonsia crescens and Blastomyces parvus (formerly known as E. parva) (family Ajellomycetaceae, order Onygenales), are typically associated with pulmonary adiaspiromycosis in humans. In Brazil, human pulmonary adiaspiromycosis is observed in rural areas but there is little information available regarding wildlife hosts. We hypothesized armadillos could play a role in the dynamics of human adiaspiromycosis. This study aimed at reporting the pathologic features and preliminary molecular results of adiaspiromycosis in wild armadillos. The animals investigated came from roads periodically monitored with high armadillo road-kill occurrence (e.g., 1,594 armadillos of 6,775 road-kills recorded within 24 months) in Mato Grosso do Sul state (Brazil). Twelve armadillos had gross/microscopic lesions compatible with pulmonary adiaspiromycosis: ten six-banded armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus), and two southern naked-tailed armadillos (Cabassous unicinctus). The lungs of 3/12 (25%) animals had 0.5 to 1 mm in-diameter light-tanned nodules scattered throughout the pulmonary parenchyma. Microscopically, these nodules consisted of adiaspores associated with varying inflammatory response patterns, from none to focally marked granulomatous, primarily involving bronchioles and alveoli. Conventional panPCR to amplify a fragment of the 18S rRNA gene, internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS-1), 5.8S rRNA gene, ITS-2, and the 26S rRNA gene were performed on all cases. Preliminarily, a pair of sequences was obtained in two of the cases, identical among them, with highest identities (less than 90% of p-distance) with several members of the family Ajellomycetaceae. These novel sequences clustered separately on phylogram. In conclusion, we describe the natural infection by adiaspores of dimorphic fungi, morphologically similar to those causing adiasporomycosis in humans, in two species of armadillos of Brazil. However, the molecular differences observed suggest this fungus could be a novel species in the Ajellomycetaceae family. Ongoing studies are aimed at identifying this fungus and assessing potential implications for public health.

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