12th Ljudevit Jurak
International Symposium on
June 1-2, 2001
|MICROSPORUM CANIS IN THE CATS: INFECTION OR ILLNESS
I. Zdovc, P. Juntes, M. Pogaènik
Veterinary faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia
|Aim: In cats, the majority of dermatophyte infections are caused
by Microsporum canis. Due to the zoonotic nature of this agent special
attention should be paid to the prevention and healing of dermatophytosis.
This work focuses on prevalence of Microsporum canis in cats and on different
diagnostic techniques we used to determine the infected and the sick
Methods: We used 100 randomly selected cats which died or were
euthanasied for different reasons in the region of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
All the cats were examined clinically, including Wood’s lamp. Hair samples
for light and fluorescent microscopic examination as well as fungal culture
were taken from both ears, the frontlet, dorsal carpal region and
from the cranial region of the thorax. Skin samples for the histologic
examination were taken from the same regions.
Results: 68 cats had no clinical lesions on the skin and Wood’s
lamp, cultural and microscopic examinations were also negative. Skin
lesions, specific and nonspecific, were found in 22 cats. In a 10 of them,
M. canis was isolated and microscopicly found, Wood’s lamp was positive
3 times. On 12 of them cultural examination was negative in spite of
skin lesions. Cultural examination were positive in another 10 cats with
any visible skin lesions. The microscopic examination of these cats were
positive while only one was positive for Wood’s lamp screening. Altogether
M. canis was found in 20 cats (20%). Using histologic examination M. canis
was found in the hair follicles of 8 cats (8%). Seven of them had skin
lesions and were also cultural positive.
One of them was found in the group with no clinical signs and with
negative cultural examination.
Conclusions: Dermatophytoses, especially caused by M. canis, are a
common in cats. Because the clinical signs may vary, a number of
diagnostic tests should be performed. The fungal culture is still the most
reliable diagnostic method to establish the presence of M. canis. We found
out that in our population of 100 cats, which were collected by chance,
we got a high number of positive cats (20%). Specific skin lesions
and positive cultural examination confirmed the presence of the illness.
Positive cultural examination with any visible lesions suspected that the
clinically healthy cat is a source of infection for animals and humans.
In our research we established 10 cats to be ill and 10 cats only
infected. Wood’s lamp was a useful screening tool as long as it was followed
by microscopic examinations and fungal culture. We got a few positive results
with Wood’s lamp according to positive cultural examination. Fungal elements
in hair follicles and near dermatitis found in histologic examination was
a morphologic confirmation of the illness.
Lunder M. et al.: Is Microsporum canis infection about to become a serious
dermatological problem? Dermatology 1992; 184:87.
Medleau L. et al.: Diagnosing dermatophytosis in dogs and cats. Vet Med
Sparkes AH. et al.: Improved sensitivity in the diagnosis of dermatophytosis
by fluorescence microscopy with calcofluor white. Vet Rec 1994; 134:307.