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First case of a dog infected with Aspergillus (Phialosimplex) caninus in Australasia

Yang, W., Jones, B.R., Rossi, G.ORCID: 0000-0003-4879-9504, Stephens, N., Arthur, I., Merritt, A., Reese, S. and Langner, K.F.A. (2020) First case of a dog infected with Aspergillus (Phialosimplex) caninus in Australasia. New Zealand Veterinary Journal .

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Case history: A 2-year-old Rottweiler dog from Perth (WA, Australia) was referred for assessment of a chronic productive cough and weight loss.

Clinical findings: Severely enlarged bilateral superficial cervical lymph nodes and severely enlarged abdominal organs were present. The body condition score was poor and there was moderate muscle wasting. Thoracic and abdominal computed tomography images revealed severe diffuse enlargement of thoracic and abdominal lymph nodes, hepatomegaly and diffuse splenomegaly. A diffuse bronchial pattern with severe multifocal saccular bronchiectasis was identified in the lungs.

Diagnostic findings: Fungal organisms were seen within macrophages on cytological preparations and on histopathological sections of biopsies of the superficial cervical lymph node. Macrophages contained intracytoplasmic, non-filamentous round-to-ovoid organisms, which varied in size from 5–30 µm in diameter with variable morphology. Budding was not observed, and no hyphae were present. Fungal culture of lymph node tissue resulted in growth of Aspergillus (Phialosimplex) caninus which was confirmed by amplification and sequencing of a segment of the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer. Concurrent bacterial bronchitis was diagnosed on culture of broncho-alveolar fluid.

Diagnosis: Disseminated aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus caninus.

Clinical relevance: This is believed to be the first report of infection caused by A. caninus in a dog in Australasia. The dog was treated with itraconazole for 7 months and was still alive 7 months after the start of treatment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: New Zealand Veterinary Association
Copyright: © 2020 New Zealand Veterinary Association
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