Veterinary mycology encompasses a range of naturally acquired infections in a variety of animal species, including birds, reptiles, fish and mammals. Many fungi of veterinary importance also cause disease in humans, prompting recent researchers to adopt a one-health investigative approach.
Yeast and mould infections in animals include aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, candidiasis, dermatophytosis, scedosporiosis, penicilliosis and many other diseases caused by pigmented and non-pigmented fungi. Infection can be localised to a particular body system or organ, or disseminated. Many antifungal therapies have been adapted from human medicine, with animal only products also employed, including azoles, echinocandins, polyenes, allylamines, griseofulvin and flucytosine. Additionally, some infections warrant the use of surgical management, including debriding and debulking procedures. Prognosis varies depending on the agent of disease and type of infection, host immuno-competency, and therapies used.
The past decade has seen an increase in cases of sino-nasal and sino-orbital aspergillosis in domestic cats. The majority of cases have been reported from pet cats living in Australia. Further investigation of these and other clinical (human and other animal) and environmental isolates has discovered novel cryptic species within Aspergillus section Fumigati, belonging to the Aspergillus viridinutans species complex. A number of fungi within this complex cause aggressive infection that is non-responsive to triazole drugs, resulting in poor clinical outcomes for humans and other animals. This has prompted investigations into antifungal susceptibility patterns, assessment of mechanisms of resistance and extrolite production for this species complex. The findings are of importance to both veterinary and human medicine.