In humans, Paracoccidioides causes a severe systemic mycosis, endemic in Latin America. A similar situation is perceived in these countries, where serological surveys have found more than 50% of urban dogs are seropositive to exposure to this yeast. Co-infection of dogs by Leishmania brasiliensis is common and may amplify this serological picture. Dogs susceptible to developing leishmaniasis could be also more susceptible to developing paracoccidioidomycosis.
The ecological niche or exact habitat of the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is not known, and few isolates have been obtained from the environment. Infections in dogs are thought to be naturally acquired via inhalation.
Species which are pathogenic in dogs include:
- Paracoccidioides brasiliensis
Diagnosis is based on clinical findings and postmortem findings of granulomas in the lungs, spleen and liver.
Itraconazole is the drug of choice, with extended treatments for up to 2 years.
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