Emmonsiosis of subterranean rodents (Bathyergidae, Spalacidae) in Africa and Israel

Zdenek Hubálek, H. Burda, A. Scharff, G. Heth, E. Nevo, R. Šumbera, J. Peško, J. Zima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence of adiaspores of the fungal genus Emmonsia was examined in the lungs of 85 mole rats representing 3 subterranean genera: Blind mole rats (Spalax galili and S. golani) from Israel, Ansell's mole-rats (Cryptomys anselli) from Zambia, and silvery mole-rats (Heliophobius argenteocinereus) from Malawi and Zambia. Emmonsiosis was found in 28% of the blind mole rats, 100% of the Ansell's mole-rats, but in none of the silvery mole-rats. Infection in African mole-rats was caused by Emmonsia parva, and infection in Israeli blind mole rats was caused by E. parva and E. crescens. The study indicates that the perennial burrow system of the Ansell's mole-rat forms an appropriate microhabitat for the saprophytic growth of E. parva in Lusaka region, Zambia. We suggest that factors contributing to the striking difference in prevalence of emmonsiosis between the two African mole-rat genera (Cryptomys, Heliophobius) may be their differing burrow types, burrow longevity, and social lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Mycology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Adiaspiromycosis
  • Adiasporomycosis
  • Cryptomys
  • Emmonsia
  • Heliophobius
  • Mole-rats
  • Spalax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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