Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 61 (2014)


U.S. Government work


An 8-month-old crossbred ewe, normal upon physical examination, was humanely euthanized for tissue collection. After approximately 3 weeks in tissue culture, fungi began budding out of cells obtained from the choroid plexus. After an additional 3 weeks, budding was observed in kidney cell cultures and eventually in monocyte cultures as well. Serum from the lamb was submitted to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Colorado State University for fungal diagnosis and was found negative for Aspergillus, Blastomyces, Coccidioidomycosis and Histoplasmosis. DNA was isolated from fungi collected from tissue culture supernatants and used in a set of pan-fungal PCR assays with DNA from Candida acting as a positive control. PCR products were sequenced and BLAST analysis performed. The unknown fungal sequence aligned with 100% identity to Rhodotorula minuta an emerging opportunistic pathogen. Samples were submitted to The Fungal Testing Laboratory at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for additional validation. We believe this to be the first report of Rhodotorula fungemia in a sheep in the United States.