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Keratinophilic Fungi Recovered from Feathers of Different Species of Birds in St Kitts and Nevis

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Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of keratinophilic fungi including dermatophytes on feathers of domestic and wild birds in the islands of St Kitts and Nevis.

Methods: During 2010–2011, samples of feathers from ninety-four birds were examined by hair-baiting technique in Petri-dishes containing sterilized soil. Fungal growths appearing on the feathers and the hair-baits were microscopically examined and the cultures obtained were identified on the basis of their microscopic and colonial morphology.

Results: Chrysosporium constituted the majority (86.9%) of the 72 isolates of keratinophilic fungi, represented by mainly C tropicum and C indicum. Sepedonium spp isolates were recovered from nine of the feather samples; two of these were identified as Sepedonium chrysospermum, and the other two as S ampullosporum.

Conclusion: Recovery of four isolates of the dermatophyte, Microsporum gypseum complex (two eachof M  gyspeum and M fulvum) from feathers of birds is a finding of public health significance.

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e-Published: 24 Jun, 2013
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