Printer Friendly

Diagnosis and management of dermatophytosis in a heifer.


Dermatophytosis is infection of superficial keratinized structures of skin and hair of animals caused by group of mycelial fungi known as dermatophytes that infect skin and shafts of hair or wool. The name 'ringworm' comes from the common round appearance of skin lesions caused by fungus. Keratin is the main component of animal skin and represents a substrate for dermatophytes (Muhsin and Salih, 2000). The incidence of this disease varies according to climate and with natural reservoirs. Animals serve as reservoirs of zoophilic dermatophytes. The most affected domestic animals are cattle, sheep, horse and goats. Dermatophytosis is a common contagious skin disease in cattle and several factors such as illness, poor nutrition, overcrowding, age, immunosuppression and stress predispose animals to infection (Awad et al., 2008; Kojouri et al., 2009). Trichophyton verrucosum is the usual cause of ringworm in cattle, but T. mentagrophytes, T. equinum, Microsporum gypseum, M. nanum, M. canis and a few others have also been isolated. Lesions can be found all over the body but most frequently on neck, around eyes, on forehead and near ears (Gudding and Lund 1995; Merchant, 2013). Cows and heifers with dermatophytosis are reported to develop lesions on chest and limbs most often although generalized skin disease may develop. Lesions are characteristically discrete, scaling patches of hair loss with gray-white crust formation, but some become thickly crusted with suppuration. Many topical therapies have been reported to be successful in treatment of T. verrucosum infection of cattle including Iodine, Thiabendazole, Chlorhexidine and Sodium hypochlorite.


A case of dermatophytosis was reported in a Kankrej heifer from a herd being maintained in an organized farm. On clinical examination, multiple, discrete, circumscribed, grayish crusty lesions over neck, shoulder, trunk and hind quarters were noticed. Many lesions showed erythema on periphery and heifer exhibited mild pruritus. The heifer was isolated from herd to check the spread of infection to other animals.

Materials and Methods

Skin scrapings from periphery of lesions and stumps of broken hair were collected in a clean paper envelope for laboratory diagnosis. Microscopical examination of skin scrapings and epilated hair after overnight digestion in 10% KOH solution revealed endothrix pattern of arthrospores within the hair. The scales of skin scraped from lesions and epilated hair were inoculated on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) with Chloromycetin and Cycloheximide by spot inoculation method for isolation of fungi. The culture plate was then incubated at room temperature (25[degrees]C) for 10 days for visible fungal colonies on media. The smears prepared from colonies were stained using Lactophenol cotton blue stain. The identification of dermatophyte was made based on colony characteristics and microscopic features of fungal isolate according to methods described by Quinn et al. (2011).



All lesions were cleaned every day with lukewarm water followed by whole body spray with Nicodine (a) (Povidone Iodine 5% w/v) every third day by mixing with water @ 10 ml/litre using knapsack sprayer. The skin lesions were also treated by topical application with Ointment Betadine (b) (Povidone iodine 5% w/w) once every day. To control the pruritus exhibited by the heifer, Anistamin (c) (Chlorpheniramine maleate 10 mg/ml) 5 ml was administered intramuscularly for 3 consecutive days. The topical treatment using Povidone iodine was continued for 18 days.

Results and Discussion

On microscopical examination of epilated hair digested overnight in 10% KOH, arthrospores arranged in parallel chains were seen within hair. On SDA agar, colonies were white, heaped and velvety and on reverse view they were white in colour. Microscopically broad, irregular septate hyphae with many terminal and intercalary chlamydospores were present in smear prepared from fungal colonies and stained with Lactophenol cotton blue stain. The chains of chlamydospores referred to as 'chains of pearls' were a predominant microscopic feature and fungus was identified as T. verrucosum. On the basis of clinical findings and laboratory examination, the case was diagnosed as one of dermatophytosis caused by T. verrucosum. Occurrence of dermatophytosis in cattle caused by T. verrucosum has been reported by Wabacha et al. (1998) from Kenya and Rao et al. (2008) from India.

During the treatment, the heifer started showing improvement in the condition and after 18 days of treatment there was complete resolution of lesions with hair regrowth (Fig. 3). The heifer was monitored for reappearance of lesions for 2 months after recovery. Among various topical agents used against dermatophytes, Povidone iodine has been suggested as an effective therapy for dermatophytosis (Timoney, 1988; Radostits et al., 2005). It has also been suggested as an effective topical therapy for M. canis infected hairs from dogs and cats (White Weithers and Maedlean, 1995). Pandey (1979) and Ahmed and Saber (2008) earlier reported efficacy of Tincture of iodine in treatment of cattle ringworm caused by T. verrucosum. In spite of spontaneous recovery being common in dermatophytosis in cattle, it is advisable to treat valuable individual animal since it limits progression of existing lesions as well as spread to others within herd.


Povidone iodine application in the form of whole body aqueous spray every third day and topical application of ointment every day for eighteen day cured skin lesions caused by T. verrucosum.


Ahmed Abdel-Rady and Saber Kotb (2008). Some epidemiological studies on ringworm in cattle at Assiut Governorate, Egypt. Suez Canal Vet. Medical J. 12: 327-35.

Awad, W. S., Nadra-Elwgoud, M. I., Abdou, A. A. and El-Sayed, A. A. (2008). Diagnosis and treatment of bovine, ovine and equine dermatophilosis. J Appl Sci Res 4: 367-74.

Gudding, R. and Lund, A. (1995). Immunoprophylaxis of bovine dermatophytosis. Can Vet J 36: 302-06.

Kojouri, G. A., Ebrahimi, A. and Zaheri, M. (2009). Zinc and selenium status in cows with dermatophytosis. Comp Clin Pathol 18: 283-86.

Merchant, S. R. (2013). Dermatophytosis in Cattle. The Merck Veterinary Manual [online]. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck and Co; Available at: http:// integumentary_system/dermatophytosis/ dermatophytosis_in_cattle.html.

Muhsin, T. M. and Salih, T. H. (2000). Exocellular enzyme activity of dermatophytes and other fungi isolated from ruminants in Southern Iraq. Mycopathologia 150: 49-52.

Pandey, V. S. (1979). Effect of thiabendazole and tincture of iodine on cattle ringworm caused by Trichophyton verrucosum. Trop. Anim. Hlth. Prod. 11: 175-78.

Quinn, P. J., Markey, B.K. and Leonard, F. C. (2011). Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Diseases, 2nd Edition.

Radostits, O.M.; Gay, C.C.; Hinchcliff, K.W. and Constable, P.D. (2005). Veterinary Medicine--A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs and Goats. 10th Edition. p.1177-79.

Rao Bhaskara, T., Prasad Rajendra, D., Srinivasulu, T. and Rao Sudarsana, M. (2008). Some observations on the incidence and treatment of Trichophyton infection in bovines in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Intas Polivet 9: 266-68.

Timoney, J. F. (1988). Dermatomycosis. In: Hagen and Bruner's Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals, 8th Ed. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY pp. 390.

Wabacha, J.K., Gitan, G.K., Bebora, L.C., Bwanga, C.O., Wamwri, Z.M. and Mbithi, P.M. (1998). Occurrence of dermatomycosis (ringworm) due to Trichophyton verrucosum in dairy calves and its spread to animal attendants. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. 69: 172-73.

White Weithers, N. and Medlean, L. (1995). Evaluation of topical therapies for the treatment of dermatophyte infected hairs from dogs and cats. J. Am. Ani. Hosp. Assoc. 31 : 250-53.

P.M. Lunagariya (1), B.S. Divekar (2) and D.S. Nauriyal (3)

Livestock Research Station

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry

Anand Agricultural University (AAU)

Anand--388110 (Gujarat)

(1.) Assistant Research Scientist and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Assistant Research Scientist

(3.) Professor and Head, Department of Veterinary Medicine

(a) --Brand of Abbott Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

(b) --Brand of Win Medicare, New Delhi

(c) --Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
COPYRIGHT 2015 Intas Pharmaceuticals Limited
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Lunagariya, P.M.; Divekar, B.S.; Nauriyal, D.S.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2015
Previous Article:Clinico-therapeutic studies on bovine dermatophilosis.
Next Article:Dermatophilus congolensis and its management in a cow.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |