Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Aspergillus terreus

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Kingdom: Plant.
  • Phylum: Fungi.
  • Class: Amastigomycota.
  • Order: Eurotiales.
  • Genus: Aspergillus.
  • Species: Terreus.


  • Latin: asperge - to sprinkle. Latin: terra - earth.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Saprophyte present in soil, decaying vegetation and feedstuffs.


  • Aspergillus moulds consist of septate hyphae and asexual fruiting structures borne on conidiophores.
  • Hyphal branches originate in a foot cell in the mycelium and end in an expanding vesicle.
  • This is covered by a layer of phialides from which chains of conidia (asexual reproductive units), arise.
  • Only mycelium is seen in tissues.


  • Inhalation or ingestion from the environment.

Pathological effects

  • Disseminated aspergillosis in humans, usually in immunocompromised patients.
  • May be associated with deficiency in mucosal immunity (with genetic basis), in dogs.
  • Canine disseminated aspergillosis; multiple organ systems affected; commonly vertebral pain and discharging sinuses.

Other Host Effects

  • Usually harmless saphrophyte.


Control via animal

  • Treatment of disseminated aspergillosis is rarely successful.

Control via chemotherapies

  • There is no established treatment for systemic aspergillosis. Amphotericin B, thiabendazole and ketoconazole Ketoconazole , have no effect on disease progression.
  • Itraconazole Itraconazole , appears to be the drug of choice and has produced remission in some cases. However, continuous maintenance therapy is required.

Other countermeasures

  • Animals usually terminally ill when presented, therefore treatment not effective.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Dallman M J et al (1992) Disseminated aspergillosis in a dog with diskospondylitis and neurologic defects. JAVMA 200, 511.
  • Day M J & Penhale W J (1988) Humoral immunity in disseminated Aspergillus terreus infection in the dog. Vet Microbiol 16, 283.
  • Neer T M (1988) Disseminated aspergillosis. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 10, 465.