A survey of dermatophytosis in animals in Madras, India.

Research paper by S S Ranganathan, S S Arun Mozhi Balajee, S S Mahendra Raja

Indexed on: 01 Jan '97Published on: 01 Jan '97Published in: Mycopathologia


Two hundred and eleven dogs (including strictly house and stray dogs) and 170 cattle in and around the city of Madras, India were screened for the presence of dermatophytosis. 106 strains of dermatophytes (89 strains from dogs and 17 strains from bovines) were isolated. 57/106 strains were Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes and 42/106 strains were of the Microsporum gypseum complex. 5 strains of T. rubrum and 2 strains of T. simii were also obtained in culture. A predominance of M. gypseum complex isolates was recorded in stray dogs and cattle and T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes and T. rubrum in strictly house dogs. The family history of the owners of the most of the dogs had clear records of dermatophytosis. Further, the owners of the 11 dogs that yielded T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes had either tinea corporis or tinea pedis. The etiological agent of all the 11 human cases was T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale. Similarly the owners of 4 of the 5 dogs that yielded T. rubrum were known T. rubrum patients. All these patients responded to oral griseofulvin or ketaconozole, but the recurrence of lesions was noted with the cessation of treatment. None of the patients had onychomycosis and the family history of all the patients revealed no reports of T. rubrum infections. The pet dogs were presumed to be the source of re-infection. Reversed transmission of dermatophytes from humans to animals may be the reason for the selective predominance of these organisms in strictly house dogs. They also may act as sources of reinfection. Most of the animals had small, occult, scattered lesions. These lesions may either go unnoticed or are ignored by the owners of the animals. The taxonomic status of T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes and T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale was aligned to their teleomorph Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii. Our study suggests that the periodic screening and medication of all live-stock are essential for the prevention and management of the public health problem caused by dermatophytes.