Cladosporium spp

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Cladosporium spp viewed under light microscopy

Cladosporium spp are an opportunistic fungal infection of dogs.

This dematiaceous fungus, which can cause phaeohyphomycosis, is a widely distributed soil and readily aerosolized saprophyte that is readily found as a dermatophyte on the coat of dogs[1]. In rare cases, it can can be inhaled or ingested and cause systemic disease as is observed in cats.

Species which are pathogenic include:

  • Cladosporium cladosporioides

Clinically affected dogs usually present systemic illness, characterized by vague symptoms such as fever and malaise. Granulomatous encephalitis and nephritis have been reported in a German shepherd dog[2].

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. PCR assays are usually definitive in establishing a diagnosis.

Treatment with generalized phaeohyphomycosis usually requires parenteral itraconazole.

References

  1. Cabañes FJ et al (1996) Seasonal study of the fungal biota of the fur of dogs. Mycopathologia 133(1):1-7
  2. Poutahidis T et al (2009) Mycotic encephalitis and nephritis in a dog due to infection with Cladosporium cladosporioides. J Comp Pathol 140(1):59-63