Fungal flora on cutaneous and mucosal surfaces of cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus

Pascale Sierra Equipe de Parasitologie-Mycologie, UMR INRA-AFSSA-ENVA Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaires et Fongiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

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Jacques Guillot Equipe de Parasitologie-Mycologie, UMR INRA-AFSSA-ENVA Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaires et Fongiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

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Henri Jacob Equipe de Parasitologie-Mycologie, UMR INRA-AFSSA-ENVA Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaires et Fongiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

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Simone Bussiéras Equipe de Parasitologie-Mycologie, UMR INRA-AFSSA-ENVA Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaires et Fongiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

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René Chermette Equipe de Parasitologie-Mycologie, UMR INRA-AFSSA-ENVA Biologie Moléculaire et Immunologie Parasitaires et Fongiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare cutaneous and mucosal mycoflora in cats infected with FIV or FeLV with that in noninfected cats.

Animals—85 client-owned cats; 24 seropositive for FIV, 10 seropositive for FeLV, 1 seropositive for both viruses, and 50 seronegative for both viruses.

Procedure—Cutaneous specimens were obtained from the coat and external acoustic meatus (ear canal) and mucosal specimens from the oropharynx and rectum. Fungi were isolated from specimens, using Sabouraud dextrose agar incubated at 27 or 37 C for cutaneous and mucosal specimens, respectively.

Results—Fungal colonies were cultured from at least 1 specimen from 83 of 85 (97.6%) cats. The most common fungal isolates were Aspergillus spp (cultured from 59.3% of all specimens), Penicillium spp (50.0%), Cladosporium spp (44.2%), Scopulariopsis spp (41.8%), and lipophilic yeasts of the genus Malassezia (31.4%). A greater diversity of fungal genera was isolated from retrovirus-infected cats, and Malassezia spp were more commonly recovered from these cats, compared with noninfected cats. Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and dermatophytes (eg, Microsporum canis) were rarely isolated from any cat. Significant differences in frequency of isolation of C neoformans and dermatophytes were not found between infected and noninfected cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats infected with FIV or FeLV may have a greater diversity of cutaneous and mucosal mycoflora than noninfected cats. However, infected cats may be no more likely than noninfected cats to expose humans to zoonotic fungi such as C albicans, C neoformans, and M canis. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:158–161)

Abstract

Objective—To compare cutaneous and mucosal mycoflora in cats infected with FIV or FeLV with that in noninfected cats.

Animals—85 client-owned cats; 24 seropositive for FIV, 10 seropositive for FeLV, 1 seropositive for both viruses, and 50 seronegative for both viruses.

Procedure—Cutaneous specimens were obtained from the coat and external acoustic meatus (ear canal) and mucosal specimens from the oropharynx and rectum. Fungi were isolated from specimens, using Sabouraud dextrose agar incubated at 27 or 37 C for cutaneous and mucosal specimens, respectively.

Results—Fungal colonies were cultured from at least 1 specimen from 83 of 85 (97.6%) cats. The most common fungal isolates were Aspergillus spp (cultured from 59.3% of all specimens), Penicillium spp (50.0%), Cladosporium spp (44.2%), Scopulariopsis spp (41.8%), and lipophilic yeasts of the genus Malassezia (31.4%). A greater diversity of fungal genera was isolated from retrovirus-infected cats, and Malassezia spp were more commonly recovered from these cats, compared with noninfected cats. Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and dermatophytes (eg, Microsporum canis) were rarely isolated from any cat. Significant differences in frequency of isolation of C neoformans and dermatophytes were not found between infected and noninfected cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats infected with FIV or FeLV may have a greater diversity of cutaneous and mucosal mycoflora than noninfected cats. However, infected cats may be no more likely than noninfected cats to expose humans to zoonotic fungi such as C albicans, C neoformans, and M canis. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:158–161)

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