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Open Access Ruptured Mycotic Aortic Aneurysm in a Sooty Mangabey (Cercocebus atys)

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Mycotic aortic aneurysm is a local, irreversible dilatation of the aorta associated with destruction of the vessel wall by infection and is a grave clinical condition associated with high morbidity and mortality in humans. Rupture of aortic aneurysms can be spontaneous, idiopathic, or due to severe trauma, and the condition has been associated with bacterial and, rarely, fungal infections in humans and animals. Here, we describe a case of ruptured spontaneous aortic aneurysm associated with zygomycetic infection in a 21-y-old female sooty mangabey. The animal did not present with any significant clinical signs before being found dead. At necropsy, she was in good body condition, and the thoracic cavity had a large amount of clotted blood filling the left pleural space and surrounding the lung lobes. Near the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta was focally perforated (diameter, approximately 0.15 cm), and clotted blood adhered to the tunica adventitia. The aortic intima had multiple, firm, pale-yellow nodules (diameter, 0.25 to 0.5 cm). Histopathologically, these nodules consisted of severe multifocal pyogranulomatous inflammation intermixed with necrosis, fibrin, and broad, infrequently septate, thin-walled fungal hyphae. Immunohistochemistry revealed fungal hyphae characteristic of Mucormycetes (formerly Zygomycetes), and PCR analysis identified the organism as Basidiobolus spp. Dissemination of the fungus beyond the aorta was not noted. Spontaneous aortic aneurysms have been described in nonhuman primates, but this is the first reported case of a ruptured spontaneous aortic aneurysm associated with entomophthoromycetic infection in a sooty mangabey.

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Division of Pathology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 2: Division of Animal Resources, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 3: Mycotic Diseases Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 4: Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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