Cryptococcosis is a common opportunistic fungal infection caused by encapsulated yeast of the Cryptococcus genus, mainly by the Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii species. The fungus is acquired through the inhalation of environmental propagules or, more rarely, through organ transplants in immune-compromised individuals. Domestic pigeons (Columba livia) are related to the infection, mainly as natural reservoirs for the fungus, a fact that is relevant due to the large concentration of these animals in public areas, mainly in places of large circulation of people. In order to isolate and diagnose Cryptococcus spp., a total of 50 excretion samples from pigeons from five public squares located in the central region of Umuarama, PR, were analyzed, being 10 samples from each square, totaling 50. From the analyzed samples, 100% (50) were negative for the capsulated yeast. Even though all samples were negative, the creation of educative campaigns aiming to raise awareness of the population on the risk of acquiring cryptococcosis and the importance of not feeding the pigeons in leisure areas, the main strategy in the population control of pigeons, were suggested.
Key words: Cryptococcus neoformans, yeast, pigeons, zoonosis, public square.
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