Penicillium spp rarely cause disease but following skin damage, may proliferate within the dermis and cause ulcerative lesions.
Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Penicillium helicum - (sexual forms are denoted as Talaromyces helicus)
- Penicillium marneffei
- Penicillium crustosum - tremorgenic mycotoxicosis
- Penicillium roqueforti - tremorgenic mycotoxicosis
Clinical signs of infection include dermatitis, rhinitis and otitis externa predominating. However, disseminated opportunistic infections have been reported in dogs, with peripheral lymphadenopathy and bronchopneumonia.
Diagnosis is based on culture of the fungus in a laboratory and visualization of hyphae in tissue samples. Fungal elements stained positively with Gomori methenamine silver and Periodic acid-Schiff stains. Definitive classification requires use of PCR assays.
Disseminated Penicillium spp infections have a guarded prognosis due to the slow-growing nature of the fungus and parenteral treatments usually have to be extended for 4 -6 month period to effect clinical resolution..
- University of California
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