01895-A: Using a Novel Diagnostic Test to Guide the Treatment of a Common Fungal Pathogen Encountered by Field Trial and Hunting Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,221.2
Andrew S. Hanzlicek, DVM, MS; Oklahoma State University
November 1, 2012 - February 28, 2014

Sponsor(s): Alaskan Malamute Research Foundation, Inc.

Breed(s): Brittany
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Histoplasmosis, caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, is a fungal infection that affects cats, dogs, and people. Histoplasmosis is found world-wide and is most commonly seen in the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi River valleys and in Oklahoma and the surrounding states. Dogs usually ingest the fungus when they eat or inhale contaminated soil or bird droppings. Once the fungus then enters the dog's body it causes coughing, difficulty breathing, inability to exercise, enlarged lymph nodes, lameness, eye and skin changes, as well as liver and spleen dysfunction. Hunting and sporting breeds are at greater risk since they routinely come into contact with bird droppings and soil in wet areas. Treatment of histoplasmosis requires prolonged antifungal therapy. Deciding how long to continue antifungal therapy is difficult and there is no consensus. In this pilot study, Dr. Hanzlicek will use a Histoplasma antigen enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to guide antifungal treatment in dogs with histoplasmosis. This information will be used to design a larger study investigating if and how this test may be used to monitor response to treatment, determine required duration of treatment, and monitor for disease reoccurrence in dogs with histoplasmosis.


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