Lagenidium spp

From Dog
Dog infected with Lagenidium giganteum, resulting in subcutaneous lesions[1]

Lagenidium spp are a microscopic spore-producing oomycotic (yeast-like) fungus which inhabits aquatic regions and is normally parasitic on insects[2].

Dogs are thought to become infected from ingesting or inhaling spores while foraging, through skin wounds or when eating small amphibians and reptiles.

Lagenidium are an opportunistic pathogen that causes infections characterized by progressive granulomatous lesions in the subcutaneous tissues as well as in the intestinal wall and respiratory tract.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Lagenidium giganteum

In dogs, chronic diarrhea is usually reported as a symptom of infection, although lymphadenopathy and pneumonia have been reported[3].

Similar symptoms and histology are observed with Pythium insidiosum[4], Basidiobolus spp and Cokeromyces spp, making them difficult to distinguish from one another[5].

Diagnosis can be ascertained by microscopic identification of the fungus or by PCR assay speciation[6].

Treatment has been effective with long-term azole therapy, specifically itraconazole.


  1. CDC
  2. Domnas, AJ & Warner, SA (1991) Biochemical activities of entomophagous fungi. Critical Reviews in Microbiology 18:1-13
  3. Grooters AM et al (2003) Clinicopathologic findings associated with Lagenidium sp. infection in 6 dogs: initial description of an emerging oomycosis. J Vet Intern Med 17(5):637-646
  4. Mendoza L & Vilela R (2009) What is your diagnosis? Pythium insidiosum or Lagenidium sp.? Vet Clin Pathol 38(3):273
  5. Grooters AM et al (2003) Pythiosis, lagenidiosis, and zygomycosis in small animals. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 33(4):695-720
  6. Gómez-Muñoz MT et al (2012) Development of a specific polymerase chain reaction assay for the detection of Basidiobolus. Mycologia 104(2):585-591