Emerging fungal pathogens in domestic animals

R.S. Ovchinnikov, M.G. Manoyan and A.N. Panin

Author address: 

The All-Russia State Center for Quality of Animal Medicines (VGNKI), Laboratory of Mycology, Moscow, Russia


A number of emerging fungal pathogens were reported in the field of medical mycology in last years. On the contrary, in veterinary mycology data concerning this question is rather restricted. Here, we describe a few cases of dermatomycoses in domestic animals caused by emerging fungal pathogens, focusing on their appearance in damaged tissues. Totally 253 clinical samples were studied in a 3-year period. Animals belonging to different species (including horses, pets, furbearing animals, birds, reptiles) and presenting skin lesions were mycologically investigated. Clinical significance of isolated non-dermatophyte fungi was evaluated according to WalsheEnglish criteria. Among rasehorses, dematiaceous non-dermatophyte fungi were recurrently isolated. Doratomyces stemonitis was the most common species. It was presented in skin scrapings in the form of brown branching mycelia and 1-celled conidia. Other dark-pigmented fungi were presented by Alternaria alternata and Cladosporium cladosporoides. Multi-celled brown phragmospores in skin samples were typical for A. alternata, and elongated 1 or 2-celled conidia for C. cladosporoides. Keratinophylic fungus Scopulariopsis brevicaulis was isolated from horses in some cases. Some atypical fungal pathogens were detected in dogs and cats. In akita-inu-breed dog skin lesions were caused by black yeast Aureobasidium pullulans. Microscopically, affected hair shafts were covered by rudimentary club-like pseudomycelium. In another case hyphomycete Wardomyces spp. was yielded from skin lesions in basset. One-celled spherical brown spores and branching mycelium could be observed microscopically in skin samples. An atypical causative agent was diagnosed in a blue fox. Microscopic examination revealed branching hyaline mycelium and a great number of clavate conidia in short chains. Isolated fungus showed the same morphological features and was identified as Scopulariopsis acremonium. An outbreak of skin disease among pigeons keeping in a same pigeonloft was revealed. Affected birds showed total feather loss in neck area (’naked neck’). Mycological examination allowed to isolate causative agent of infection Aspergillus niveus. Conidial heads distinctive for Aspergillus genus were detected in affected feathers. In reptiles Fusarium moniliforme was detected as a most common causative agent, followed by Penicillium chrysogenum, Alternaria alternata, Acremonium spp., Humicola spp., Phoma spp., Chaetomium globosum, Mucor circinneloides. Lethal deep mycoses accompanied by superficial lesions caused F. moniliforme and P. chrysogenum were ascertained in some reptiles in this study. The same fungi were obtained both from superficial samples and postmortem probes from internal organs. Thus, mycoses caused by emerging fungal pathogens were detected in a variety of animal species. Clinical significance of such infections in veterinary should not be underestimated.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

2nd Trends in Medical Mycology
    • TIMM 2nd (2010)