Dermatophytes isolated from symptomatic dogs and cats in Tuscany, Italy during a 15-year-period

Research paper by F. Mancianti, S. Nardoni, S. Cecchi, M. Corazza, F. Taccini

Indexed on: 01 Aug '03Published on: 01 Aug '03Published in: Mycopathologia


Between January, 1, 1986 and December, 31, 2000, dermatological specimens from 10.678 animals (7.650 cats and 3.028 dogs) were examined for dermatophytes. All the animals presented clinical signs of ringworm. Two thousand-four hundred fifty-six of the 10.678 (23%) examined animals scored positive for dermatophytes, 566 out of 3.028 canine (18.7%) and 1890 out of 7.650 feline specimens (24.7%). Microsporum canis constituted 83% and 97% of the isolated dermatophytes respectively in dogs and cats, M. gypseum represented 13% and 2.6% and T. mentagrophytes 5.5% and 0.2%. A sexual predisposition for mycotic infections was not observed. The animals with less than 1 year of age were more frequently infected. Canine toy breeds showed a significantly higher (P < 0.001) prevalence of infections by M. canis. Microsporum gypseum was mostly recorded from sporting (hunting) breeds [such as T. mentagrophytes (6.7%)]. Microsporum canis was isolated from long-haired cats with a ratio of 2:1 versus short-haired cats, while M. gypseum and T. mentagrophytes were never recovered from Persian cats. The annual distribution of the infections in dogs showed a significantly higher incidence for M. gypseum in summer versus winter and spring, while the recovery rate of M. canis from cats was very significantly higher in fall and winter than in summer and spring. Trichophyton mentagrophytes did not show a similar seasonal distribution.