Suspected cerebrospinal parasitism with subsequent disseminated phycomycosis and bacterial infection in an alpaca (Lama pacos)

Peter D Constable, David E. Swayne, Bonnie Rush-Moore, John E. Sagartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A 7-mo-old male alpaca (Lama pacos) was presented in midwinter with clinical signs of ataxia and ill thrift. A presumptive diagnosis of cerebrospinal parasitism was made based on the presence of eosinophils in cerebrospinal fluid and historical association of this alpaca with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the natural host of Parelaphostrongylus tennis (a nematode). The alpaca responded to anthelmintic (fenbendazole, diethylcarbamazine, ivermectin), antibiotic (sulfadiazine/trimethoprim, pyrimethamine), and corticosteroid (prednisone) treatment and returned to the farm of origin, at which time its neurologic status had almost returned to normal. The alpaca remained healthy for 1 mo before developing different acute severe neurologic signs, leading to euthanasia. A fulminating, disseminated fungal and bacterial infection was diagnosed at necropsy, characterized by an acute multifocal necrotizing vasculitis and thrombosis associated with fungal hyphal elements that resembled Phycomycetes spp. and multiple pyogranulomatous foci in the kidney, lung, and liver associated with Escherichia coli and Rhodococcus sp. The disseminated phycomycosis and bacterial infection were attributed to a primary immunodeficiency disorder or an opportunistic infection secondary to prolonged antibiotic treatment and corticosteroid administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-408
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume27
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alpaca
  • Cerebrospinal parasitism
  • Fungal encephalitis
  • Lama pacos
  • Phycomycosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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