J Zoo Wildl Med. 2021 Apr;52(1):379-388. doi: 10.1638/2019-0215.


This case series describes six confirmed cases of mycotic encephalitis and/or mycotic pneumonia in southern pudu (Pudu puda). One case involved a 10.5-yr-old intact female that presented with an inability to stand, eventually progressing to grand mal seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a lesion within the cerebellar vermis with edema causing cerebellar herniation. The animal was euthanized based on a grave prognosis. Gross and histologic examination revealed primary central nervous system phaeohyphomycosis. Curvularia spicifera was sequenced from the cerebellar tissue. This is the first time this fungus has been reported as a primary central nervous system infection in an artiodactyl species. The remaining five cases occurred in neonates between 17 and 67 days old. Clinical signs varied widely, including facial swelling, weakness, posterior paresis, and sudden death. Antifungal therapy was initiated in three neonatal animals but was unsuccessful in each case. All neonates had active mycotic pneumonia caused by Aspergillus fumigatus or Mucor spp. at time of death; four of these animals also had disseminated disease that caused mycotic encephalitis. This case series indicates that fungal disease should be included in the differential diagnosis list of any pudu presenting for neurologic or respiratory clinical signs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Deer*
  • Encephalitis / microbiology
  • Encephalitis / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Male
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Mycoses / veterinary*
  • Pneumonia / microbiology*