ISSN 2398-2950      

Therapeutics: fungal and protozoal infection

ffelis

Synonym(s): Therapeutics: non-bacterial infection


Introduction

  • The yeast Malassezia pachydermatis is a commensal and opportunistic pathogen of feline skin. It is a common cause of ceruminous otitis externa and seborrheic dermatitis. In cats, Malassezia overgrowth is always triggered by an underlying disease (eg feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, diabetes mellitus, or neoplasia) or trigger (eg environmental allergies, food intolerances, and/or flea allergy dermatitis). Several breeds (eg Devon Rex cats, Himalayan) are predisposed to yeast overgrowth. Resistance to Malassezia spp appears to be increasing. While antifungal agents still play a key role in managing M pachydermatis, other agents, such as chlorhexidine, are being employed increasingly to avoid selection of antifungal agent-resistant isolates. 
  • Few species of fungus cause infection. Infection can be acquired by inhalation, ingestion, or through the skin (for example, through a cut or wound), most commonly from soil. Some fungi can cause local (eg ringworm) or generalized infection in otherwise healthy, immunocompetent individuals. Local or generalized infection with other fungi is more common in stressed or immunocompromised individuals (eg poor nutrition, viral infections, immunosuppressive drug therapy, prolonged antibiotic therapy). Antifungal agents play a key role in managing fungal infections in cats. 
  • Protozoan parasites, including vector-borne infections, intestinal (eg Giardia, Coccidia) and other (Toxoplasma) protozoa, are responsible for a number of different diseases in cats. Some of these diseases have a worldwide distribution and others are of regional importance. Feline vector-borne disease can be prevented by consistent use of insecticides and acaricides as part of limiting exposure to ticks and other arthropod vectors. Accurate, prompt diagnosis and appropriate, appropriate management measures (eg hygiene) and specific treatment and are critical to managing protozoan parasitic diseases in cats.   

Yeast and fungal infections

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Antifungal agents

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Protozoal infections

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Antiprotozoal agents

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
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