Survey on the role of brown hares (Lepus europaeus, Pallas 1778) as carriers of Zoonotic dermatophytes

Nardoni, Simona; Papini, Roberto; Gallo, Maria Grazia; Verin, Ranieri; Mancianti, Francesca
February 2010
Italian Journal of Animal Science;Feb2010, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p126
Academic Journal
The occurrence of dermatophytes and keratinophilic fungi was investigated by hairbrush technique on the coat of 986 apparently healthy brown hares (Lepus europaeus, Pallas 1778) caught in 9 restocking and capture zones in Central Italy. Overall, 7.5% hair samples gave positive results. Trichophyton terrestre (2.1%), Chrysosporium sp, Chrysosporium keratinophilum, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton gloriae and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (0.6% each), Trichophyton erinacei and Scopulariopsis brevicaulis (0.4% each), Chrysosporium asperatum (0.3%), Arthroderma sp and Microsporum canis (0.1% each) were identified in cultures with single isolates, whereas Chrysosporium sp/T. mentagrophytes (0.3%), Chrysosporium sp/T. terrestre and M. gypseum/T. terrestre (0.2% each), Chrysosporium tropicum/T. terrestre, M. canis/T. terrestre and T. ajelloi/T. terrestre (0.1% each) were identified in cultures with mixed isolates. T. erinacei and M. canis have not previously been isolated from hares. M. canis, T. erinacei and T. mentagrophytes were the most clinically important dermatophytes found. Altogether, they were isolated only from 1.5% hair samples. Thus, it is concluded that brown hares may play a limited epidemiological role as carriers of zoonotic dermatophytes. Nevertheless, this should be taken into consideration as many people may be exposed to zoonotic agents from brown hares during hunting and trapping activities.


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