What causes canine sino-nasal aspergillosis? A molecular approach to species identification.
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On the basis of phenotypic identification methods, Aspergillus fumigatus is reported as the most commonly identified aetiological agent of canine sino-nasal aspergillosis (SNA). However, definitive identification of Aspergillus spp. using phenotypic features alone is unreliable. The aim of this study was to determine the molecular identities of fungal species causing SNA in dogs. Genomic DNA was extracted from 91 fungal isolates from 90 dogs diagnosed with SNA in Australia, the USA and Belgium, and the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 ribosomal DNA and partial -tubulin regions were sequenced. Eighty-eight of 91 (96.7%) isolates were identified as A. fumigatus and 3/91 (3.3%) belonged to Aspergillus section Nigri spp. (Aspergillus tubingensis: 2/91; Aspergillus uvarum: 1/91). These findings confirm that A. fumigatus is the most common aetiological agent of canine SNA. This is the first report to document a pathogenic role for A. tubingensis and A. uvarum in dogs.