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Cryptococcus neoformans granuloma in the lung and spinal cord of a free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). A clinical report and literature review : clinical communication

I.R. Millward, M.C. Williams
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 76, No 4 | a432 | DOI: | © 2005 I.R. Millward, M.C. Williams | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 June 2005 | Published: 15 June 2005

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I.R. Millward,
M.C. Williams,

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A 6-year-old, male, wild-born, free-ranging cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) was evaluated for acute onset of progressive lameness in the right hind limb. Survey radiographs were unrewarding and myelography indicated an intramedullary compressive mass at the L3-L4 region. A fine needle aspirate of the lesion indicated the presence of Cryptococcus organisms. Necropsy confirmed the presence of granulomas (cryptococcoma) in the lung and the spinal cord (meningomyelitis) caused by Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. Cryptococcus neoformans is a yeast-like organism that is a potential pathogen to many species. Initial infection is thought to be of respiratory origin and then it commonly disseminates systemically from the nasal cavity or lungs to the skin, eyes and central nervous system in particular. The cheetah tested negative for both feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), as have all the previously reported cheetah cases. C. neoformans is a non-contagious, opportunistic organism and is the most common systemic mycoses in domestic cats and the cheetah.


Acinonyx Jubatus; Cheetah; Cryptococcoma; Cryptococcus Neoformans Var; Gattii; Meningomyelitis


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doi: 10.1111/myc.12215