Penicillium spp

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Penicillium spp spores viewed under light microscopy

Penicillium spp are a keratinophilic hyphomycetes fungi which are a normal commensal of canine skin worldwide[1].

Coinfection with other dermatophytes such as Microsporum spp is very common[2].

Penicillium spp rarely cause disease but following skin damage, may proliferate within the dermis and cause ulcerative lesions.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Penicillium

Clinical signs of infection are rare, but disseminated opportunistic infections have been reported in dogs, with discospondylitis commonly reported[3].

Diagnosis is based on culture of the fungus in a laboratory and definitive classification using PCR assays.

Treatment would involve topical or parenteral antifungal chemotherapy with drugs such as amphotericin B, itraconazole, ketoconazole or turbinafine. Pulse treatment is recommended.

Disseminated chrysosporidiosis has a guarded prognosis due to the slow-growing nature of the fungus and parenteral treatments usually have to be extended for 4 -6 month period to effect clinical resolution..

References

  1. Efuntoye MO et al (2002) Fungi isolated from skins and pens of healthy animals in Nigeria. Mycopathologia 153(1):21-23
  2. Simpanya MF & Baxter M (1996) Isolation of fungi from the pelage of cats and dogs using the hairbrush technique. Mycopathologia 134(3):129-133
  3. Watt PR et al (1995) Disseminated opportunistic fungal disease in dogs: 10 cases (1982-1990). J Am Vet Med Assoc 207(1):67-70