Alternaria spp are an opportunistic fungal infection of dogs with immunocompromised states. They are normally considered a non-dermatophytic fungi that requires underlying dermatopathy to invade the skin. The incidence of these infections is greater in warm and humid climate.
Species which are pathogenic include:
- Alternaria infectoria
Clinically affected dogs usually present with a history of immunocompromised states such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.
Generalized dermatopathy is common with this fungus, and dermal ulcerations, paronychia and fever are common.
A hypersensitivity to fungal hyphae appears to predominate as a cause of lesions.
Thick walled fungal hyphae are usually detected in impression smears from skin lesions. Staining with periodic acid-Schiff's stain is usually confirmatory.
Treatment with generalized phaeohyphomycosis usually requires parenteral itraconazole.
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- Philpot CM & Berry AP (1984) The normal fungal flora of dogs. A preliminary report. Mycopathologia 87(3):155-157
- Caretta G et al (1989) Dermatophytes and keratinophilic fungi in cats and dogs. Mycoses 32(12):620-626
- Dedola C et al (2010) Cutaneous Alternaria infectoria infection in a dog in association with therapeutic immunosuppression for the management of immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia. Vet Dermatol 21(6):626-634