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Dermatophytosis – A Highly Infectious Mycosis of Pet Animals

Mahendra Pal Raj Mahendra
Vol 7(1), 1-7

Dermatophytosis is a highly infectious mycotic disease of great economic, and public health consequences. It is estimated that 20 % of world population is affected with dermatophytosis. The disease is cosmopolitan in distribution, and has been frequently reported in humans as well as in many species of animals including cats and dogs. Dermatophytosis is an occupational mycozoonosis of pet owners, dog handlers, kennel attendants, dog trainers, dog catchers, veterinarians, and persons working in animal shelters. Among several species of dermatophytes, Microsporum canis is the principal cause of ringworm in cats, and dogs; and is recognized as an emerging pathogen of global significance. Transmission of infection can occur by direct contact with diseased animal and man, indirect contact with contaminated fomites or contact with soil. The disease is more severe and common in kittens and puppies. Direct microscopical demonstration of dermatophytes in skin /nail lesions by potassium hydroxide technique, and its isolation in pure growth on Sabouraud medium/DTM still considered the mainstay of diagnosis. A number of topical agents (miconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, luliconazole), and systemic drugs such (griseofulvin, ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole) have been tried for the management of disease. The identification of asymptomatic carrier in kennels and catteries by culture of brushing, and use of Wood’s lamp in screening of pet colonies where M. canis is the only concern, is recommended. The role of T. bullosum, a newly emerged zoophilic dermatophyte in the etiology of canine and feline ringworm should be investigated. It is emphasized that Narayan stain, which is cheap, easy to prepare and stable at room temperature, should be widely employed in microbiology and public health laboratories for the morphological studies of dermatophyes, which are implicated in the etiology of human and animal ringworm.

Keywords : Canine Dermatophytes Direct Microscopy Feline Microsporum Canis Narayan Stain Ringworm Zoonosis

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