Paecilomyces spp

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Paecilomyces spp under light microscopy[1]

Paecilomyces spp are an opportunistic fungal infection of dogs.

They are normally considered a non-dermatophytic fungi that requires underlying dermatopathy to invade the skin[2]. The incidence of these infections is greater in warm and humid climate[3]. Both dermal and systemic phaeohyphomycosis have been reported[4].

The fungus is a nematophagous symbiont of most nematodes including Toxocara canis[5] and infections in dogs can occur via gut dissemination or with immunocompromised states such pregnancy, or with dogs receiving cyclosporin.

Species which are pathogenic include:

  • Paecilomyces lilacinus
  • Paecilomyces variotii

Clinical signs of Paecilomyces spp infections often present as lethargy, weight loss, lymphadenopathy, diarrhea, and vestibulocochlear deficits[6].

Generalized calcinosis cutis, pneumonia[7], discospondylitis and systemic phaeohyphomycosis have been reported using radiographic and ultrasonographic studies. In one case focal granulomas were observed in the skin, liver and spleen[8].

Thick walled fungal hyphae are usually detected in impression smears from skin lesions, kidneys, mitral valve, abdominal aorta and vertebral discs[9]. Staining with periodic acid-Schiff's stain is usually confirmatory.

Treatment with generalized phaeohyphomycosis usually requires parenteral ketoconazole[10].

The prognosis for paecilomycosis is poor, although some treatment success has been reported[11].


  1. Dr Fungus
  2. Jand SK & Gupta MP (1989) Dermatomycosis in dogs. Mycoses 32(2):104-105
  3. Philpot CM & Berry AP (1984) The normal fungal flora of dogs. A preliminary report. Mycopathologia 87(3):155-157
  4. Nakagawa Y et al (1996) A canine case of profound granulomatosis due to Paecillomyces fungus. J Vet Med Sci 58(2):157-159
  5. Carvalho RO et al (2010) Ovicidal activity of Pochonia chlamydosporia and Paecilomyces lilacinus on Toxocara canis eggs. Vet Parasitol 169(1-2):123-127
  6. March PA et al (1996) Diagnosis, treatment, and temporary remission of disseminated paecilomycosis in a vizsla. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 32(6):509-514
  7. Quance-Fitch FJ et al (2002) Pleural effusion in a dog with discospondylitis. Vet Clin Pathol 31(2):69-71
  8. Holahan ML et al (2008) Generalized calcinosis cutis associated with disseminated paecilomycosis in a dog. Vet Dermatol 19(6):368-372
  9. García ME et al (2000) Disseminated mycoses in a dog by Paecilomyces sp. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med 47(4):243-249
  10. Booth MJ et al (2001) Temporary remission of disseminated paecilomycosis in a German shepherd dog treated with ketoconazole. J S Afr Vet Assoc 72(2):99-104
  11. Foley JE et al (2002) Paecilomycosis in dogs and horses and a review of the literature. J Vet Intern Med 16(3):238-243