Keratinophilic fungi on feathers of common clinically healthy birds in Bahrain


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Abstract

SummaryThe occurrence of keratinophilic fungi associated with feather samples from 10 bird species was investigated using Mycobiotic Agar® following the incubation at 25 ± 2°C for 4 weeks. A total of 225 feather samples were cultured, of which 157 (69.77%) were found to be positive. Altogether 184 fungal isolates represented by 11 species and grouped into five genera were recovered viz. Chrysosporium, Trichophyton, Arthroderma, Scopulariopsis and Sepedonium. Based on relative density values to rank species prevalence, the most common genus was Chrysosporium. Chrysosporium keratinophilum was the predominant species (54.34%) on most of the bird species, followed by Chrysosporium tropicum (17.93%). Relative densities of less than 10% were noticed with Chrysosporium merdarium (8.69%), followed by Scopulariosis spp. (7.06%). The lowest density of occurrence was depicted by Arthroderma tuberculatum (0.54%) and Sepedonium spp. (0.54%). Alexandrian parrots and chickens yielded the widest keratinophilic species diversity (6), followed by quail, duck and pigeons (5), while lovebirds showed the narrowest species diversity (1). The average number of species spectra and isolates per bird is 3.7 and 18.4, respectively. The study further showed that apparently healthy bird feathers can harbour a variety of fungi that may be considered as a source for transmitting potential pathogens of clinical importance.

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