Protothecosis in the north of italy - proceedings - library - vin

Protothecosis in the North of Italy - Proceedings - Library - VIN
Canine Protothecosis in the North of Italy: 4 Cases (2009�2011)
E. Mercuriali1; E. Bottero2; F. Abramo3; B. Dedola4; E. Zini1
1Istituto Veterinario di Novara, Novara, Italy; 2Clinica Albese, Cuneo, Italy; 3Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 4Clinica Veterinaria, Mantova, Italy Protothecosis is an uncommon disease of people and animals caused by Prototheca spp., anunicel ular aerobic algae. To date, about 30 cases have been described in dogs in NorthAmerica and Australia. In Europe, only 4 cases have been documented in the last 2 decades(Poland, Italy, Greece and Spain). Affected dogs show signs referable to the gastro-intestinaltract, particularly the colon, but ocular and neurologic signs are also reported. The diseasehas an insidious onset, a slow progression and fatal course. The aim of the present study is todescribe clinical and laboratory findings in 4 cases of canine protothecosis from the north ofItaly, diagnosed between 2009–2011. Medical records were retrieved and informationpertaining to history, clinical and instrumental data, as wel as fol ow-up, were col ected. Themedian age of the 4 dogs was 8 years (range: 5–11), 3 of them were female and 2 wereBoxers. Major complaints were chronic large bowel diarrhea with hematochezia and weightloss observed since a median time of 3 months (range: 1 to 7). Previous treatment withgastrointestinal diets, antiparasitic drugs and antibiotics yielded no improvement. Additionally,2 dogs developed uveitis during the disease course. In al dogs, a complete blood count, aserum biochemical profile, including protein electrophoresis, and abdominal ultrasound wereperformed; serum cTLI, folate and cobalamin were available in 3 dogs and urinalysis in one.
The results of the above laboratory tests were normal. Ultrasonography was unremarkable in2 dogs and showed increased colon wal thickness in the other 2. Definitive diagnosis wasobtained from endoscopic biopsies of the colon and/or rectal scrapings in 3 dogs and frombiopsies of the colon at necropsy in one. In each case, spheroid, ovoid or irregularly-shapedorganisms suggestive of Prototheca spp. were observed. Different treatments were attemptedwithout benefit in 3 dogs. In one dog, transient improvement was obtained with itraconazole.
The median survival time was 5 months (range: 2–12). The present work indicates thatprotothecosis should be included in the list of differential diagnoses in dogs with large boweldiarrhea, especial y in those with chronic refractory colitis or developing ocular signs. Dogsinfected with Prototheca spp. have a guarded prognosis. Diagnosing protothecosis in 4 dogsover a 2-year period may suggest that the disease is emerging in some southern Europeancountries.
Conflicts of interest: No conflicts of interest reported
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E. Mercuriali
Istituto Veterinario di Novara
Novara, Italy


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