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Dermatophytosis in show lambs in the United States

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A dermatophytosis, called ‘club lamb fungus’ by owners, has been affecting show lambs during the lamb show season. Thirty-one families of 108 responding to a questionnaire reported at least one case of dermatophytosis, and 15 of those 31 families reported children or owners involved in showing these lambs developing skin lesions consistent with dermatophytosis. In lambs, gross lesions typical of ovine derma-tophytosis were located on all parts of the body, and consisted of circular areas of matted wool, crusts and discoloration. Lesions appeared either at a single site or were distributed randomly, affecting head, body and extremities. Direct microscopic examination of wool revealed ectothrix, endothrix, and combined endothrix and ectothrix infections. Microsporum gypseum was the only dermatophyte cultured from wool samples collected from affected lambs; however, the presence of endothrix spores suggests that other species may be involved. Arthrospores and fungal hyphae typical of dermatophytes were present in histological sections.
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Keywords: club lamb fungus; dermatophytosis; ovine

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, PO Box 1389, Tifton, GA 31793, USA, 2: Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Large Animal Clinical Sciences Department, Blacksburg, VA 24061–0442, USA, 3: College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Animal and Dairy Science Department, PO Box 1209, Tifton, GA 31793, USA

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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