Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Protothecosis

Contributor(s): Rhea Morgan

Introduction

  • Cause:disseminated disease caused byPrototheca wickerhamii Prototheca wicherhamii orPrototheca zopfii. Organism is an achlorophyllous algae that is widespread around the world.
  • Signs:bloody diarrhea and ocular signs; rare cutaneous lesions.
  • Diagnosis:cytology, histopathology, culture.
  • Treatment:none effective.
  • Prognosis:guarded to grave.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General
  • Alterations to cell mediated immunity.
  • Immunosuppression.

Specific

  • Potential exposure to the organism in sewage or animal wastes.
  • Exposure to contaminated water, soil or food.

Pathophysiology

  • In the dog infection probably occurs through ingestion of the organism.
  • The organism has a predilection for the large bowel.
  • It may disseminate to the eyes, heart, brain, liver and kidneys.
  • Cutaneous disease is rare, and may be associated with disseminated disease.

Timecourse

  • Incubation unknown.
  • Duration often weeks to months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Schultze A E, Ring R D, Morgan R V, Patton C S (1998) Clinical, cytologic and histopathologic manifestations of protothecosis in two dogs. Vet Ophthalmol 1 (4), 239-243 PubMed.
  • Ginel P J, Pérez J, Molleda J M et al (1997) Cutaneous protothecosis in a dog. Vet Record 140 (25), 651-653 PubMed.
  • Blogg J R, Sykes J E (1995) Sudden blindness associated with protothecosis in a dog. Aust Vet J 72 (4), 147-9 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hribernik T H, Hoskins J D (1997)Rickettsial infections.In: Morgan RV (ed)Handbook of Small Animal Practice.3rd Ed. W B Saunders, Philadelphia, pp1163-1186.
  • Greene C E (1998)Protothecosis.In: Greene CE (ed)Infectious Disease of the Dog and Cat.2nd Ed. W B Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 430-435.


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