Rhizomys sumatrensis and Cannomys badius, new natural animal hosts of Penicillium marneffei

S. Chariyalertsak, P. Vanittanakom, K. E. Nelson, T. Sirisanthana, N. Vanittanakom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The incidence of Penicillium marneffei infection has increased substantially, especially in persons with HIV infection. Very little is known about the natural reservoirs or animal hosts of P. marneffei. This pathogenic fungus was first isolated from a species of bamboo rat (Rhizomys sinensis) in Vietnam and later from another rodent species, R. pruinosus. We studied a total of 75 captured bamboo rats; P. marneffei could be isolated from the internal organs of 13 of 14 (92·8%) of large bamboo rats, R. sumatrensis, and of 3 of 10 reddish-brown small bay bamboo rats, Cannomys badius (30%). All 51 greyish-black C. badius were negative on culture. Among R. sumatrensis, P. marneffei were frequently recovered from the lungs (85·7%), spleen (50%) and liver (28·6%). Of the 28 soil samples collected from the bamboo rat burrows and the 67 from the residential areas of patients with P. marneffei infection, P. marneffei was isolated from one soil sample collected from a burrow of R. sumatrensis. The mycological characteristics of P. marneffei isolates from bamboo rats and humans were very similar. Our data indicate that R. sumatrensis and C. badius may be important animal hosts of P. marneffei in northern Thailand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalMedical mycology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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