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 helicum - (sexual forms are denoted as Talaromyces helicus)
Clinical signs of infection are rare, but disseminated opportunistic infections have been reported in dogs, with peripheral lymphadenopathy and bronchopneumonia predominating.
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 Penicillium spp infections have 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..
- Efuntoye MO et al (2002) Fungi isolated from skins and pens of healthy animals in Nigeria. Mycopathologia 153(1):21-23
- Simpanya MF & Baxter M (1996) Isolation of fungi from the pelage of cats and dogs using the hairbrush technique. Mycopathologia 134(3):129-133
- Jones BG & Pollard RE (2012) Relationship between radiographic evidence of tracheobronchial lymph node enlargement and definitive or presumptive diagnosis. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 53(5):486-491