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A Disseminated Cryptococcus gattii VGIIa Infection in a Citron-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) in Québec, Canada.


Cryptococcus gattii infection in mammals and birds has been confined historically to tropical and subtropical regions in Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America. Since the early 2000s, numerous reports describe the emergence of C. gattii on the Pacific Coast of North America. We report on a C. gattii infection in an 8-year-old male citron-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) hatched on the Canadian Pacific Coast and raised in the province of Québec, Canada. The bird developed a slow growing ulcerated, fleshy, crusty, and hemorrhagic mass infiltrating the left lower rhamphotheca. Cryptococcus gattii infection was confirmed by cytologic examination of a fine needle aspirate of the mass, and results of fungal culture and sequencing. The genotype of the strain was determined to be VGIIa sequence type 20, the strongly overrepresented subgroup found on the Canadian Pacific coast. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for multiple antifungal drugs were determined. The bird received fluconazole but died acutely 55 days after initial presentation. Postmortem examination revealed a disseminated infection, with involvement of the beak, lungs, spleen, and brain.