Atypical Morphology and Disparate Speciation in a Case of Feline Cryptococcosis.Mycopathologia. 2018 Apr; 183(2):479-484.M
A 6-year-old, spayed female cat was presented with acute respiratory signs and pleural effusion. Computed tomography scan revealed a large, lobulated mass effect in the ventral right hemithorax with concurrent sternal lymphadenopathy. A cytologic sample of the mass contained pyogranulomatous inflammation, necrotic material, and abundant yeast structures that lacked a distinct capsule and demonstrated rare pseudohyphal forms. Fungal culture and biochemical testing identified the yeast as Cryptococcus albidus, with susceptibility to all antifungal agents tested. However, subsequent 18S PCR identified 99% homology with a strain of Cryptococcus neoformans and only 92% homology with C. albidus. The patient responded well to fluconazole therapy unlike the only known previous report of C. albidus in a cat. The unusual cytologic morphology in this case underscores the need for ancillary testing apart from microscopy for fungal identification. Though C. albidus should be considered as a potential feline pathogen, confirmation with PCR is recommended when such rare non-neoformans species are encountered.